As I reflect, I can't help but think of the wonderful people that have been instrumental in what I have experienced in my life thus far. Humility is the fragrance of gratitude. Oftentimes, we are moving so fast that we forget to stop and be thankful that God has placed some amazing people in our lives. Some were for short seasons, others for longer and, better yet, some for life. I can easily think of many that I am thankful for that have helped bring about my life's purpose.
In John 17, Jesus was thanking the Father for those He had given Him. How often do we thank God for those that have played a major part in our life decisions and, in some capacity - negatively or positively - have helped us come to this place in our lives?
Judas and Peter both were disciples but represented very different roles in the story of the gospel as labeled in history and culture. Most people would say Peter played a major role in Jesus' ministry and Judas was a hindrance. I would suggest that Judas played even a more powerful role in the fulfillment Jesus' purpose than any other disciple. They were are important, unique, and valuable. On the several occasions when Jesus shared openly that His purpose was to eventually die, Peter tried to stop Him and even one time rebuked Jesus. However, Judas betrayed Jesus, leading Him right into the perfect will of God. I don't claim to understand it all, but somehow, even our enemies or those that betray us and use us have a greater part in helping, steering, and accelerating our heavenly purpose on this earth.
So be thankful for all those that helped you get to the place you find yourself in, even if it's a place you don't like. Be thankful, because somehow, in some way, even those against you will help you walk into that place of victory. For a season, your situation might feel and look like a defeat. Somehow, it will turn out to be the very thing you will look back on and say, "I thank You, Lord, for those that helped me that meant to and those that helped that didn't mean to."