My friend Eric had a very hard childhood. His father told him repeatedly, "You're no good and you'll never amount to anything."

As Eric grew older he turned to drugs. “I was a terrible addict,” he says. “I mixed together all kinds of things that could have killed me. I was even terrible at being an addict. My needle would break or I would be short of cash to feed my habit. I felt like a total failure."

Eric's life became a complete mess. His addiction drained him of every penny so he decided to rob a convenience store to buy more drugs—but again he failed. He pulled out a gun and shouted, "Everybody up against the wall!” But the store was so crowded that all the people couldn't fit against the wall. Confused, Eric ran away.

In despair, Eric eventually resolved to shoot himself with the shotgun he had used for the robbery. However, he dropped the gun and it misfired, wounding him in the side. As Eric drove himself to the hospital, he thought, “I'm such a miserable failure I can't even kill myself.”

After being treated for his wound, Eric walked the streets in total despair. Deep down, he was angry at God and cried out, “Are You there at all? Is there any reason for me to keep living?”

Eric heard a voice say, “I'm sending you a love letter.” Somehow Eric knew it was the voice of Jesus. As he sat on a curb with rainwater trickling along the gutter under his legs, he noticed a small booklet floating toward him. Picking it up he saw that it was a tract entitled, "There is Hope for the Drug Addicted."

The tract was published by a group called Victory Outreach. Eric found their address, went to them and gave his life to Jesus. Soon he was delivered from his addiction. He gave up every habit—including his belief that he was destined to be a failure. Jesus made Eric a new creature in every way.

This young man had thought his life was over—but it had just begun. He had been blind to the life—resurrection life—that Jesus had been planning for him all along.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to . . . give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).