In the book of John chapter 1, Jesus went to Galilee. Philip was telling Nathaniel that they found who Moses and the prophets wrote about. "His name is Jesus, and He's the son of Joseph from Nazareth." Nathaniel's response was priceless. "Nazareth?! Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
Nazareth was a very small town, approximately 400 people. Everyone knew everyone. There wasn't really much to offer, as it was made up mainly of peasant families. Get the picture? So imagine our Lord and Savior came from this place!
This resonated with me because I think of the many people that have counted me out because of where I came from. Statistically speaking, I shouldn't be where I am right now. My past consists of many poor choices and numerous sins as it pertains to sex, alcohol, crime, etc. You've probably experienced the same thing to some degree. Some have battled with addiction, depression, failed suicide attempts, etc. Maybe it's nothing you've done, but the household you grew up in. Perhaps others put labels on you for different reasons. People often count us out because of our past and where we came from. God knows your name and you are set APART and not set aside.
You may have been separated from others at some point. And it's because He has something great He's about to produce out of you. Whoever betrayed you or walked away from you did you a favor. Even Saul and Judas served their purposes for 2 great kings.
What I love about Saul and Jesus is they were both ridiculed and rejected in their own hometowns because of who they eventually became. People often focus and hold on to who we used to be. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that we are new!
People we previously surrounded ourselves with will change towards us because of who God has created and called us to be. But with the God of angel armies on our sides, we are victorious! There's something that only YOU can do. You are called and chosen. You are loved. You matter. Others counted you out because they failed at math. God has counted you in. You are engraved on the palm of His hand. Who cares where you came from. Know where you're going!