A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Read Romans 9:19-33.

In light of God’s sovereignty, some may ask, “If God will have mercy on whomsoever He will, why pray? Why witness? Why get attacked by my coworkers or classmates for trying to tell them about Christ?” But here in Romans 9:19-33, Paul tells us that by asking such questions, we are expecting God to answer to us—when it is we, the created, who must answer to Him.

Don’t misunderstand: God does allow us as His children to ask why, and it is good for us to sincerely wrestle with Him about these matters. But we must not permit our pride to puff us up so that we demand answers from God and then reject Him when He does not respond in the way we think He should. We must remember we are but dust, just as Job did when faced with the majesty of God: “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3).

Though it is God who sovereignly elects His children since the beginning of time, in His perfect wisdom, He has chosen to use us as His messengers of salvation. Even though this confounds our understanding, this is core to the Christian faith and the heart of the mission of the church. May God grant us humble faith to receive this Truth so that we might not stumble over it but wear ourselves out in testifying to God’s amazing love displayed in Christ.

Prayer: God, You are Lord. You are sovereign over all, perfect in wisdom and all Your judgments. I trust You and surrender to You. Help me follow Your ways. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God?” (Romans 9:19-20a).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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