A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

For the child of God, joy does not mean the absence of sadness, trials, or disappointment. In fact, many times it is just the opposite. Joy dwells right there next to sorrow. This was true of the apostle Paul’s life. He faced beatings, stoning, and imprisonment, yet he had a tremendous sense of joy.

During moments of great difficulty, we can experience the joy of the Lord in a far greater way than at any other time. For some, this may be hard to believe. Many times, when difficulty comes, we immediately look for a way out. A sudden trial leaves us feeling hopeless and wondering if we have done something wrong. But we must remember that adversity is a part of the Christian life.

When he wrote about joy, Paul was in prison. He knew how it felt to be discouraged and abandoned, but he also experienced a tremendous joy—one the Lord had given him. It is the same joy we can experience today.

Paul wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12).

Contentment for Paul was reflective of the deep sense of joy he felt within his heart. He had a promise from God—and we do, too. One day, like Paul, we will see our Savior face to face. Therefore, no matter what this world tosses at us, we can experience a true sense of joy right now.

Do you feel as though you have lost your joy? Are you longing to experience it again? The joy of the Lord is one of God’s greatest gifts. Take a moment to be silent before Him. Worship Him and praise Him for His faithfulness to you. When we dwell on the precious gift of the Gospel, we can’t help but be lifted up in joy. The more fully we experience and grasp the grace of God, the greater will be our joy.

Prayer: Father, restore my joy to overflowing, that it may bubble up and infuse my life. May this overflowing joy testify to others of Your love. As I sit before You now in silence, speak to me. I am listening. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: . . . sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:4, 10).

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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