Has Life Let You Down?

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Has life let you down? So many people feel that life has let them down. In a society like ours, everyone is looking for someone to blame for it. Parents, friends, drugs, upbringing, race, gender, bad luck. Many, in fact, blame God, thinking either He doesn’t care, or is too busy doing more important things than making their life successful.

Today I want to examine the question, “Has life let you down?” and find out what it really means.


Even before we are born people who love us have expectations for us. The Bible says God has expectations for us, a destiny for our lives. We are not born randomly, we are not a product of chance or luck, we are people of destiny.

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Psalms 139:13-14 (ESV) David wrote,
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

This is why I am anti abortion, because I believe, and the Bible teaches, that life starts at conception. Abortion is murder, and perhaps even greater than the taking of a life you cannot yet see is the loss of the destiny and purpose that life would have brought to the world.

So, from the womb to the grave, people have expectations of us, and we also have expectations of ourselves. No child I’ve ever heard of has the ambition to grow up and become a drug addict and live homeless on the streets. Our parents don’t want us to grow up and become murderers or rapists.

All of us are born with great expectation. However, somewhere along the line, something is lost, and what we want for our lives is destroyed.but whose fault is that? Who should we blame?


Blaming has been around since creation. In the Garden of Eden Adam sinned changing his destiny along with every person descended from him. When challenged, Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the snake, and the snake didn’t have a leg to stand on.

Genesis 3:12-13 (ESV)
The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Adam blamed God, and so do most of us when life let’s us down. Solomon wisely observed,

Proverbs 19:3 (ESV)
When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.

Even when we have made bad decisions, we still blame God for how it all works out. Or someone else.

In our society, we always find someone to blame. Parents and upbringing are common targets. I was born in the wrong family, in the wrong country, to the wrong parents or on the wrong side of the tracks.  The media reinforces this, the government compensates for this, and the courts recognise and even celebrate this.

And to be fair, there is an element of truth to this. Bad parenting does create delinquents. Sometimes I am horrified to hear myself talk to my kids and recognise I sound like my parents. We are definitely influenced and shaped by parenting, upbringing and society. This is why I am so burdened for future generations because of what we are now teaching our kids in school.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

But does the way we have been brought up dissolve us from blame? Are we purely a product of what is done to us, or do we have choices?


People talk about destiny like it was some external force, something outside of us that forces us into a mould. Call it fate. A destiny that we should meet! It’s the universe, it’s karma.

But the Bible teaches that destiny is not a neutral, external force. It is a series of choices. Your decisions determine your destiny, not the universe, and not your karma, and you will never fulfil your destiny until you step up and take responsibility for your decisions!

Choices carry with them consequences, and you cannot disassociate them. You can make the choice. But you cannot choose the consequences of that choice.

And let’s make it clear, God is in your corner, and He is your cheer squad. He isn’t out to get you, bring you down, zap you or ruin your life.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

God has a plan for your life, and circumstances do not dictate this plan, nor can they foil it, unless you make the wrong choices. Don’t bother trying to convince God that someone else is to blame, because He knows the buck stops with you, and your choices.


Because destiny hinges on the decisions you make, it is possible to turn a life that is heading for destruction around. There is always hope, no matter where you are, where you’re from and what you’ve done.

So, the next few minutes could be the most important of your life. Your decision determines your destiny, for good or for bad, life or death

Deuteronomy 30:19 (ESV)
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,

Your decisions can help you find your destiny or lose it. And your choices affect not only you, but also your children, and their children. It all rests on you making right choices. So, let’s examine what this means from Scripture.


Funny thing is that right now many can see, or at least sense, that things are not right in this world, or in their future, but they refuse to change. When we can see bad things coming but refuse to change, we are like King Belshazzar in the book of Daniel. We see the writing on the wall, but refuse to change. Like that king, many today sense that judgement is ominously somehow at the door.

Even as Christians and believers, if you choose badly, you can lose your destiny.


Israel’s first king was King Saul. He was tall, good looking, strong and brave, and looked an excellent choice when He took the throne. But Saul had a problem that no one foresaw…he thought he knew better than God.

God gave Saul a great destiny, to be king over his people. But God gave some specific orders, and Saul usurped the prophet Samuel and disobeyed, time and again. He then lied, tried to blame the people, and covered it over with religious sacrifices, but God had had enough!

1 Samuel 15:22-23 (ESV)
And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.”

Disobedience caused Saul to lose his destiny.


Another king of Israel, King UZZIAH, was a good and obedient king, and because of wise choices and obedience he won many battles and was greatly blessed.

2 Chronicles 26:16 (ESV)
But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.

Uzziah decided to disobey God and usurp the priests’ duties. And when challenged by the priest, he angrily responded with pride, and God punished

2 Chronicles 26:19 (ESV)
Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the LORD, by the altar of incense.

He remained a leper until he died, ostracised from his people. He lost his destiny.


Arguably Israel’s most successful king was Solomon, David’s son. He started well, choosing wisdom over long life, fame, and riches. God was pleased, said

1 Kings 3:12-13 (ESV)
behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honour, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days.

1 Kings 10:23-24 (ESV)
Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.

However, after years of obedience and prosperity, Solomon chose to disobey…

1 Kings 11:4 (ESV)
For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

He lost his destiny, and the kingdom lost its destiny, because he made bad choices. Solomon was influenced by the result of those choices, the many foreign wives he took.


You see, it’s not how we start but how we end. And while your choices can cause you to lose your destiny, the right choices can cause your destiny to unfold before you, regardless of how tough your start was. If you’ve had difficult times in the past, if you’ve made poor choices, then let this encourage you to start making the right choices.


We cannot control what happens. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. But we can control how we respond to bad things happening, even if what happens to us is a disaster.


Prideful because he was the favoured child, his brothers sold him into slavery. He was persecuted, unjustly accused by Potiphar’s wife, thrown into prison, neglected, and forgotten.

But because he chose to honour the Lord, no matter what, and because he chose to be righteous and godly, God miraculously raised him up to greatness. You might remember God lifted Joseph directly from prison to become the Prime Minister by supernatural gifts that He gave Joseph.

Genesis 41:38-40 (ESV)
And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

And when God raised Joseph, we see his obedient heart as he forgives his brothers for the wrong they did to him

Genesis 45:7-8 (ESV)
And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph’s choice was to be faithful to God, to trust and honour Him. After a rough start, Joseph discovered his destiny by being obedient.


Moses started as a basket case, then he became a prince, but he lost his destiny because of a bad choice, attacking and killing an Egyptian. He then spent 40 years in the wilderness, a third of his lifetime, tending sheep in the back blocks of society. Some of you made bad decisions and have suffered for that for years, but Moses reminds us that if we make the right decisions, we can regain a destiny lost.

Exodus 3:4 (ESV)
When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Moses made a decision to hear and not ignore God, and this changed his life forever, and he became the leader of God’s people, saw miracles and saw them reach the Promised Land. A lifetime wasted was changed by one decision to say, “Lord, here I am.”


Daniel is another. Taken as a prisoner when young, sent into exile hundreds of miles from home, subjected to a harsh and evil culture, he rose to become powerful and famous in the land of his captors. The Babylonian world tried to make him take their food and culture, but Daniel and friends refused to conform. Instead of becoming a conformer he became a transformer!

After many decisions that honoured God, and speaking without fear to various Kings like Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, Daniel rose to prominence because of a godly Spirit.

Daniel 6:3 (ESV)
Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

When King Darius ordered that no one may pray to any God other than his, Daniel could have compromised, but he made a decision to stand against tyranny and for God. His decision looked like certain death, thrown into the lion’s den, but God honoured that decision and saved him. Daniel said,

Daniel 6:22 (ESV)
My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

A decision to remain faithful before God saw Daniel move further into his destiny, as a leader in the society of his captors.


Gideon was another who started frightened and weak, scared of the Midianites. He chose to be faithful and obedient to the call of God. Remember, as he winnowed grain in a wine press, an angel appeared

Judges 6:12 (ESV)
And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”

Despite how scared and weak he was, God saw something in Gideon, a destiny that no one else could see. Facing a huge army, God whittled Gideon’s army from 32,000 down to 10,000, then from 10,000 down to 300. Why?

Judges 7:2 (ESV)
The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’

The decision to be faithful was when Gideon defeated the enemy and move into his destiny, the destiny God had for him. Interestingly, he later disobeyed God and lost his destiny and his legacy

Judges 8:27 (ESV)
And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.

When I read about Gideon, I am reminded that if you start today obeying and honouring God, God will open a destiny for you, just like He did Gideon.


Your destiny is not something external that happens to you that you just have to suffer with. Your decisions determine your destiny, and so I cannot finish without asking you to respond to God’s call today.

It all hinges on your decision. You can make bad choices and lose your destiny like Saul, Uzziah and Solomon, or good choices like Joseph, Moses, Daniel, and Gideon who discovered amazing destinies God had prepared for them. And remember, you can’t choose the consequences, but you can choose to obey the Lord.

Regardless of what has gone before, regardless of what’s happened to you, the money, the reputation, the people you may have lost, right now you are responsible for your choices and decisions, and therefore you are responsible for your destiny.

And God sees a destiny in you that you can’t even see.

Rock collector Rob Cutshaw found a “purdy and big” blue rock that he thought he might sell for $500, so he kept it under his bed to sell if he needed money, and kept living a poor, simple life. Turns out the rock was the legendary 2,111 carat “Star of David” sapphire. It is the largest cut sapphire in the world, worth millions of dollars.

Can you trust God who sees your true potential for your future? Remember the verse we started with,

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

If you decide to obey the Lord this morning, He promises you that He will prosper you, use you, care for you, give you a hope and a future. These verses were given to a nation of prisoners in exile, miles from home, dejected, defeated and miserable.  But God doesn’t stop there, He goes on to say

Jeremiah 29:12-14 (ESV)
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Some of you here today have lost your destiny. You were once full of promise, but because of certain decisions, your future was compromised. I declare to you today that God is faithful, and that it is not too late to repent and regain your destiny in the Lord.

If you are here today, maybe you’ve wandered away from God. Perhaps you’ve struggled to find Him in this busy world. I declare to you today that this same God is searching for you and has plans to give you a hope and future.





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