A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Yesterday we read that the first step in overcoming pessimism is understanding who you are in Christ Jesus.

The second step in overcoming pessimism is knowing how to handle setbacks—those moments when we lose our confidence. We all have hot buttons and weaknesses that cause us to doubt and falter in faith. Thomas had those buttons, too.

We learn about one of his buttons in John 11. He was afraid of the growing opposition from the Jews. When Jesus told the disciples that they were going to Bethany because Lazarus had died, Thomas was sure they would die too (see v. 16). But then Jesus overwhelmed Thomas’ pessimism with His matchless power—power even over death—by raising Lazarus from the grave.

Our hope also lies in witnessing and receiving Jesus’ life-giving power over sin and death. How can we be pessimistic when Jesus has the power to redeem any situation?

The final step in overcoming pessimism is believing in the power of the resurrected Christ. Following Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples were confused about what would happen next, and they gathered together for support—everyone but Thomas.

He expected nothing to happen, and when he was told by the other disciples that the resurrected Christ had appeared to them, he still refused to believe, saying, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).

When Jesus appeared again to them a week later, Thomas was given the chance to do just that, and when he had experienced the resurrected Christ, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). His ultimate liberation from pessimism had come!

Prayer: God, thank You for the reminder that You have the power to redeem any situation and that I can have confidence in the power of my Lord, the resurrected Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!” (Psalm 66:5).

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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