Sociologists tell us that human behaviour is largely determined by two things: our parents and our environment. Judging by that, they’d have written Jephthah off as a lost cause! But not God. His Word says, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV). When Jesus becomes Lord of your life, neither genes nor environment can prevent you from becoming everything He intends you to be. Before his life was over, Jephthah became famous as Israel’s youngest governor and is listed among the Bible heroes in Hebrews chapter 11. That’s because God is a turnaround specialist! Maybe you were born in less-than-ideal circumstances, and you’re wondering if you can ever overcome them. The answer is yes! So the next time someone tries to use your past to put you down, remind them about Jephthah. The truth is, our God is awesome! He can lift the disadvantaged higher than those who have had every possible advantage. His strength is revealed and released in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). He specializes in using those who have been rejected. He used Joseph, a man thrown into a pit by his brothers and written off by his father as dead. He used David, a shepherd boy alienated and ignored by his family. He used Jesus, “the stone the builders rejected” (Psalm 118:22 NIV), who went on to become “the chief cornerstone” (Luke 20:17). And He can do the same for you. So be encouraged. God has a plan for your life, and as you spend time with Him, He will show you what it is.