A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

When God commands us to begin counting stars, it can be easy to abandon the call when circumstances in our lives begin to obscure our vision.

Read Genesis 12:10-20. God had told Abraham to count the stars in the night sky, for his descendants would be just as plentiful. But when famine hit the land of Canaan, Abraham stopped counting. He lost sight of God’s promise, and he panicked. Rather than turning to God in faith and seeking His help, Abraham trusted in his own wisdom and made a plan. And according to his plan, he and Sarah traveled to Egypt to escape the famine that threatened their safety in Bethel.

So much can go wrong when you begin to trust in Egypt to save you, whatever your Egypt may be. Your Egypt may be your net worth, your financial portfolio, or a relationship. Whatever it is, you will find that the moment you place your faith and trust in that idol instead of God, your intimacy with Him will go by the wayside. Your personal affection toward God and His people will become cold and icy, and your walk with the Lord distant.

All this happened to Abraham when he stopped stargazing, stopped counting on God’s promises. His godless logic told him that he could survive among the Egyptians, that he could outsmart them, and it nearly cost him everything as he placed his wife in danger. Ultimately, Abraham left Egypt for Canaan with Sarah, but only by God's mercy and divine intervention and only after being reprimanded by a pagan Pharaoh.

Abraham’s experience may sound disheartening to those of us who have fallen short time and time again. Yet through it all, we see God’s grace in redirecting Abraham when he misses the mark, and we see how Abraham learns from these experiences and grows into the man of faith extolled in Hebrews 11.

Have you allowed your circumstances to drive your attention from the promises of God to the worries that surround you? If so, it's never too late to turn back to God. Just as God showed grace and mercy to Abraham, He will do the same for you. He cares about you more than you know, and He stands ready to answer your prayer.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for not trusting You when I am faced with difficulty. I long for my security to be rooted in You. May I cling to Your Word and Your promises, relishing Your grace and mercy. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

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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