A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Regardless of how many times we have experienced the fulfillment of God’s promises, we seem to have short memories.

Life suddenly veers down an unexpected path, and we begin wondering if we are going to make it. We try to find a way out of our misery and realize the situation is impossible apart from God. Instead of praising the Lord and trusting Him for a way of escape, we resort to worrying and grumbling.

If there was one man who had a right to grumble and complain in the New Testament, it was Paul. After his conversion, his life seemed to be composed of one life-threatening conflict after another. He was imprisoned, shipwrecked, tortured, and threatened. Paul’s suffering was so great that many of his letters were written from prison.

Yet, when we find Paul in his darkest hour, he was not griping about his circumstances—he was praising God. For Paul, praising God had become a habit, a way of life. Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus:

[B]e filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)

As believers determined to honor Christ with every portion of our lives, our lips should come into harmony with our actions as we praise God at every opportunity. This is how we live with a heavenly perspective—one that is set on the one who can transform our darkest situation into one of hope and light.

Prayer: Lord, remind me of Your goodness and greatness today when I get discouraged, and teach me how to praise You at all times. Let me not forget Your faithfulness. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might” (Psalm 21:13).

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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