Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—His death and resurrection—is our only means of salvation. Our faith must always be a working faith, an active faith and not a dead faith, because a dead or inactive faith is not faith at all. If anyone claims to have faith, that faith will be manifested through visible acts of serving, witnessing, and giving. True faith will be expressed in love.

Authentic Christian love is exhibited through labor. What kind of labor? The labor of sacrificing. The labor of forgiving. The labor of persevering. The labor of stretching oneself out to the very limits of endurance in service to God and others. Any so-called “love” that does not labor is mere sentimentality.

True hope waits patiently, and it works as it waits. Authentic Christian hope is not demonstrated by putting on white robes, climbing to a mountaintop, and saying, “Take me away, Lord!” An authentic Christian hope is not expressed by hunkering down in a bunker and doing nothing. Hope is involved with the sufferings of humanity. Hope rolls up its sleeves and gets its hands dirty. Hope is continually lighting candles of faith in the hearts of others.

In times of persecution and oppression, hope endures. Hope perseveres. Hope brings us peace in the midst of trouble. The serene and confident expectation of the return of Jesus Christ, whether His return takes place in the next instant or ten thousand years from now, fills us with a peace that no persecutor can take away.

Prayer: Father, I long to experience the depth of faith that produces laboring love and enduring, peaceful hope. Draw me ever closer to You to deepen my faith as I experience the wonder of Your love displayed on the cross and Your power to save. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17).

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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