Many of us believe that other people are responsible for messing up our lives, sometimes beyond repair. A jealous co-worker or an unfair boss has prevented us from growing and sabotaged all our career prospects. A dishonest customer or devious partner has destroyed our business and set us up for financial ruin. An unfaithful friend or two-timing spouse has broken our heart and ruined our chances of happiness for all time.
However, if we think people have the power to destroy our lives, we seriously need to reexamine our faith because it declares that it is God who decides what is to be or what isn’t to be. Jesus once asked the question: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” (Matthew 10:29). He went on to speak about how the very hairs on our heads were numbered, implying that God governed the minutest details of our lives.
“But people have done bad things to me,” you say. That’s very probable, but if they have, it is only because God has permitted it, and this is to fulfill your destiny, not destroy it. When Jesus was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor asked Jesus, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” (John 19:10-11)
God gave Pilate the power to order Jesus’ crucifixion to fulfill his destiny, which was to bring salvation to us. Similarly, if people do “bad things” to us, it might feel (even to them!) like they are doing this to hold us back or destroy us, but in truth, God is using them to push us forward and grow us. In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote: “We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3).
These “bad things” that people do provide us with an opportunity to develop our character. However, it’s not automatic. We must make the right choices. We can allow them to make us vicious and vengeful, playing right into the enemy’s hands. Or we can choose to be loving, trusting in God and his plans for us. Which, if you need reminding, are great.
So, dear friend, don’t let that negative experience with your jealous colleague, dishonest customer, or cheating partner discourage or dishearten you. God controls your destiny, nobody else, and no matter how much it might seem like the enemy has won and it is all over, rest assured it is only just beginning. God has great things in store for you. Get ready to receive them.