A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

 

Throughout Scripture, we see the heart of God and the depth of His disappointment when His people forget about Him and His past mercies, blessings, and grace. In fact, the reason God established all the festivals and celebrations, such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Passover, and others, was to empower the Israelites to constantly remember God’s gracious hand that delivered them out of slavery in Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land. He provided a visible, tangible reminder of His work. Similarly, in the New Testament, Jesus established the Lord’s Supper and baptism to point us to His indescribable love toward us with physical reminders.

 

Why does God want us to remember? God's desire for us to recall His past mercies has nothing to do with His own personal insecurities (He has none) and everything to do with empowering us to worship Him rightly. Every time you recall the depth of God’s love for you, He is inviting you to love Him back more deeply and more fully. Every time you remember His matchless love, it brings healing and wholeness, challenging you to respond with praise and surrender. Every time you recall His immense sacrifice, it brings hope and trust that He will do it again. Remembering Him is for His glory and for our good.

 

If you are feeling defeated and discouraged, you have forgotten something vitally important. Go back to the point where your trouble began and ask, "How did I get here?" Re-evaluate your thinking. Are you focused on your failures or God's faithfulness? Look back and instead remember those moments of God's faithfulness.

 

Our past memories are linked to our future hope. Therefore, loving Jesus with your memory is of vital importance. Many people are held back from greater growth in Christ because they act as though they are bound by their past. But Christ has broken the chains of our sins—past, present, and future. Let those chains fall and see new growth in Christ as you focus on His faithfulness rather than your failures.

 

Psalm 42 is a great example of how loving the Lord with your memory can fill you with hope, pull you out of the pit of discouragement, and propel you into more fervent faith. Here David presents a problem and a solution: "My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you" (Psalm 42:6). Whether you’re in the valley or on the mountaintop, let David’s cry be your prayer.

 

Prayer: God, thank You for the many ways You have delivered me, helped me, healed me, and provided for me. Today I choose to dwell on Your faithfulness rather than my own disappointments. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (Deuteronomy 5:15).

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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