Regardless of what anyone else thinks of you, you matter to God. He thinks you’re important, and His opinion is the one that counts the most. Before David became king, he had to overcome two obstacles. The first obstacle was his family’s inability to see his potential. When Samuel the prophet came looking for a king among Jesse’s sons, he didn’t even consider David. Maybe that’s because he was the youngest, or his brothers seemed more qualified, or his father wanted to impress the prophet. The second obstacle was Samuel’s inability to recognise God’s call on David’s life. When Samuel the prophet saw the oldest brother, Eliab, who was a general in the king’s army, he said, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here’ (1 Samuel 16:6 NIV). But God corrected Samuel – and gave the rest of us something to think about – with these words: ‘People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). David’s problem is a common one. Many of us don’t believe in ourselves because we haven’t had much recognition or encouragement in the past. Maybe you have the potential to be a great musician, but because your parents guided you towards a different path, you’ve given up on yourself. Or maybe you’ve always been ‘the quiet one’, and been overlooked if there were other people around who were more confident or forgot to include you. If that’s the case, it’s time to stand up and reclaim who you are; time to ask God to help you be who you’re created to be, and place encouragers around you who will validate and ‘fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you’.