In Him, also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
When I think of the word destiny, I think of two things. One is a good friend I had in high school named Destiny. She was dependable, brutally honest, and could easily make me laugh. The other is the classic 80’s movie “Back to the Future”. You might remember George McFly, reading off some notes that Marty had written for him, goes up to his dream girl Loraine in the diner and proclaims, “I’m your DENSITY…I mean, your destiny.” It is a line that Melissa and I have said to each other repeatedly over the years. The irony in the movie is that George doesn’t really understand the full truth of what he is saying. On the other hand, Marty knows that these two are his parents, truly destined to fall in love during the Under the Sea dance.
There is a similar irony that has existed in every believer’s life. God had decided long before we were ever born that we would come to trust Him with our lives. In fact, it was our density…I mean destiny. God knew every day we would live before we lived it (Psalm 139:16), but it took the right circumstances coming together for us to make the decision to follow Him. Why He chose us we don’t really know. Although, to be sure, it had nothing to do with anything we have done or would do but completely based on His grace and mercy (Eph. 2:9). How our decision to trust Him played a role is also beyond our comprehension and has been the source of an ongoing debate for centuries.
Regardless of where anyone stands on this debate, there are some unavoidable facts that this passage makes clear. Firstly, true believers were destined to be such by the all-wise God who is working all things out for His own purposes. Secondly, we have an inheritance that has been set aside for us. And lastly, that it is all about His glory. I find that the thing that makes me most uncomfortable about the idea of predestination is that I believe that I exist for my own benefit, but that is simply not true. All things, including me, were created by Him, through Him, and most importantly for Him (Col 1:16). I exist and my days are made for His glory to increase and His purposes to be accomplished, not my own. While I am unable to understand all the implications of my being predestined, my response to God giving me this destiny is simply, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
May we view our lives today as richly blessed by God because we have been chosen by Him to “be the praise of His glory.”