A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Facing a new year can elicit a variety of responses. Some feel a sense of excitement and renewal in looking forward to the coming year. A few feel like life is spinning out of control, wondering where the year went. Others feel lost without a clear purpose in life—something to be or do that makes sense of everything. Regardless of how you feel about the new year, you can be assured that God has a plan for you in it.

God has a unique vision and purpose for each of His children. God wants to bring glory to Himself through our lives. Understanding God’s vision, however, is different from casting our own vision.

When we make plans, we want everything laid out. Think about the last time you traveled. When you mapped out the trip, you wanted to know where it started, where it ended, where you would stop along the way, and exactly how long it would take. Many of us approach our life in the same way—we try to plan out all the details in advance; we want to know all the answers before we begin the journey.

However, God does not reveal His vision for our lives all at once. He reveals it step by step.

In John 16, there is an interesting exchange between Jesus and the disciples just before His betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. Jesus is telling the disciples what to expect when He goes away, and He says, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear” (John 16:12). God reveals His vision to us when He knows we are ready and able to receive it.

Prayer: God, help me to trust that You will reveal Your vision for me at just the right time. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).

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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