A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Who is in control of your life? Who directs your plans, dreams, and goals? We all are influenced by something—our egos, our greed, our pride, our circumstances, our relationships. But only the Lord, the one who created us and every living thing, has the right to claim ownership on our lives.

In Psalm 23 David declares, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1). David acknowledges God as his shepherd—the one who governs and manages his life, the one who is the owner of his life—and God is the best manager we could ever have. A sheep’s life isn’t easy—but no matter our circumstances, our Shepherd provides His guidance and comfort.

We are never in need because our Shepherd cares for us. He provides us rest when we cannot carry on in our own strength. He quenches our thirst. He restores us and forgives us when we are broken and weak. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23:2–3).

Even in our darkest days, our Shepherd will remain with us: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). With the Shepherd leading us, we have nothing to fear—not the disappointments of life, the dark days, not even death itself. Whatever valley we go through, God is leading us to higher ground.

Prayer: Father, thank You for being my Shepherd. Thank You for Your care and guidance to higher ground. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—”  (John 10:14).

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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