Paul writes in Colossians 1:1-2,
Παῦλος (Paul) ἀπόστολος (an apostle) Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ (of Christ Jesus) διὰ (through/by) θελήματος (will/purpose/design/pleasure) θεοῦ (of God) καὶ (and) Τιμόθεος (Timothy) ὁ ἀδελφὸς (the brother)
τοῖς (to the ones) ἐν (in) Κολοσσαῖς (Colosse) ἁγίοις (holy) καὶ (and) πιστοῖς (faithful) ἀδελφοῖς (brothers) ἐν Χριστῷ: (in Christ) χάρις (grace) ὑμῖν (to you) καὶ (and) εἰρήνη (peace) ἀπὸ (from) θεοῦ (God) πατρὸς (Father) ἡμῶν (of us).
I am including the Greek text because I think that it is really cool to be able to include it in the blog and I also want to highlight one word in the text that is the launching point for what I want to say. I have put the simple English translation in parentheses following the Greek word that it translates.
In the first verse, Paul says that he is an apostle of Christ Jesus "by the will of God". The word "will" can include the idea of design, purpose, or pleasure. Paul is clearly saying that his role as an apostle comes directly from the very hand of God. It is God's idea. It pleases God for Paul to be an apostle. It is Paul's destiny to be an apostle. If if God had a destiny for Paul, then it seems reasonable to expect that God has a destiny for each of us as well. By searching the scriptures, I have discovered seven promises in regards to destiny.
D-ays (Acts 17:26; Job 14:1-6). Paul preaches in Acts 17:26 that God has, "determined appointed times and the boundaries of habitation". God has already decided when we will live, how long we will live, and where we will live. Of course, we make decisions that affect these things but God is always able to say, "I knew you were going to do that". His destiny for us takes into account the decisions that we will make.
E-ternal Life (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11; John 3:16-18). "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ . . ." (1 Thess. 5:9). Jesus makes it possible for us all to live forever. It's our destiny!
S-piritual Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:1-16; 13:9-12). ". . . but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory . . ." (1 Cor. 2:7). God has destined us to know things that cannot be comprehened with the human mind. The Spirit of God reveals to us the thoughts of God. We are destined to think like God thinks.
T-rials (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5). In speaking of his afflictions, Paul says that he has been, "destined for this" (1 Thess. 5:3). There are some things that we can only learn through problems. There are some things that God wants us to become that can only be shaped through difficulties. These trials are a part of our destiny.
I-mage of Christ (Romans 8:28-34; Genesis 1:26). The Bible promises, "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son . . ." (Rom. 8:29). This is amazing stuff--It is our destiny to look like Jesus! Describe Jesus and you will have a good idea of how God views you.
N-ew Relationship (Ephesians 1:3-5). Paul says that God, "predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the kind intention of His will . . ." (Eph. 1:5). God has brought us into relationship with Himself as adopted children. It's our destiny to be treated by our Father just like our big brother Jesus.
Y-our Inheritance (Ephesians 1:11). "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will . . ." (Eph. 1:11). It's difficult to comprehend that God has destined us to share in Christ's inheritance.