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At age 14, Joe Lopez was a member of a gang, constantly making trouble at his high school. Later, he turned his life around, earned four academic degrees, and eventually became a high school principal. His early failure did not define his future. In Judges chapter 11, we read about a young man named Jephthah who started out as a failure and was rejected by his half-brothers. They not only rejected him, they chased him away from home because his mother was a prostitute. As an outcast, he had to adjust to his new life, but he did not give up. He became a warrior. Later, the people who rejected him needed him. When they were attacked by the Ammonites, they sent for Jephthah and begged him to come be their leader, to help them defeat their enemies. After getting assurance that they would keep their side of the bargain, he agreed to be their leader, and God helped him defeat their enemies, the Ammonites. God gives each of us certain abilities. As we submit to God by faith and develop our gift, He empowers us to use our ability to fulfill His agenda by serving others. Doing God’s will fills us with confidence and joy.

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