We are all encouraged by a leader who stirs us to move ahead, someone who believes we can do the task he has given and who will be with us all the way. God is that kind of leader. He knows the future, and his plans for us are good and full of hope. As long as the God who knows the future provides our agenda and goes with us as we fulfill his mission, we can have boundless hope. This does not mean we will be spared pain, suffering or hardship, but that God will see us through to a glorious conclusion. God did not forget his people, even though they were captive in Babylon. He planned to give them a new beginning with a new purpose—to turn them into new people. In times of deep trouble, it may seem that God has forgotten you. But he may be preparing you, as he did the people of Judah, for a new beginning with God at the center.