Paul says a most wonderful thing to the Corinthians: “By the grace of God I am what I am.” The words resonate with acceptance of his being. In a way he says that God has formed and molded him by His grace so that he is everything he is meant to be. Nothing less, nothing more. To the Galatians the same Paul says: “He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace.”
Paul had reached a level of understanding where he saw God only. We all know how Paul was a Pharisee of the strictest order and how he persecuted the church before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Despite his rather gloomy past Paul asserted that God had even been there and orchestrated his life and through that season prepared him for his glorious task of bringing the word of reconciliation to the Gentiles.
To the Romans Paul observed: “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” God is glorified and proves his adequacy in turning what in the temporal realm seems like a hopeless case into something most stunning in His kingdom. Paul is the perfect example, and somehow he knew he was. The past, the negative became the backdrop for the positive, the glory of God’s grace which shines so radiantly when it is contrasted with the gloom.
You are not any worse off than Paul. God has set you apart from before the foundation of the universe to be who you are. You have been through different seasons which have prepared you for your high calling of being a son of the Creator of everything. Many a time you have faced things which others have meant for evil, but which God has meant for good. You are not the result of some random influences. Your loving Father has been there all the time hidden in persons and circumstances which have led you to your present glory. By the grace of God you are who and what you are!