Joseph was about 17 when he was subjected to tremendous pressures from his jealous brothers. If you remember, he had some special dreams that God had given him concerning his future, but they probably wrote him off as some ‘holy Joe’. They threw him into a pit, most likely with lethal intentions, but after second thoughts he was rescued and sold as a slave to some Ishmaelite travelers en route to Egypt. He was ultimately employed in the royal household where Potiphar’s wife had sexual desires for him. He constantly refused her, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” Throughout his troubles, he kept his character!
David, another teenager, proved his loyalty when he was in the wilderness caring for the sheep. When they were attacked by a bear and a lion he could have run, but instead he went after them and killed them. Later he volunteered to single-handedly take on the giant, Goliath, much to the amazement of the older soldiers. But David was not joking. He said that God was with him and he struck Goliath with a knockout blow from his sling shot.
And what about Josiah? He came to the throne of Judah at the age of 18 even though he had a problematic family background. His father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, had both been evil kings. Josiah was brought up in an environment of wickedness and intrigue, yet he did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
Daniel was a teenager when his country was overrun by the enemy and he was taken prisoner to Babylon; but even there he and his friends stood firm for godly principles, and he eventually became a minister of state.
There are strong possibilities, too, that the Apostles of Jesus were still teenagers when He called them; and so was Timothy, the young preacher who worked with the Apostle Paul. There are other young people mentioned in the Bible, such as Samuel and Ruth.
Righteousness triumphed over heredity and circumstances back then, and it still does. Many young Christians today come from difficult family situations, but being transformed by the grace of God, they, too, can overcome anything. If you are young, stand strong in the Lord, and He will give you the victory!