In 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul deals extensively with what it means to practice grace giving. In fact, in these two chapters alone, the word “grace” is mentioned six times.

We learn from these chapters that grace giving is God-honoring. When everything is going well in your life and you give God the crumbs, you are not honoring God. But when everything is blowing up in your face and you give to God sacrificially, you honor God—something He will never forget. Problems are a part of living, but don’t use problems as an excuse to not practice generosity.

It is because of the grace that we have freely received that we can be sympathetic with other people’s trials. Our trials give us the ability to minister to others with compassion.

That is the difference the grace of God makes, and that is why the apostle Paul writes, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Corinthians 8:2).

What did they have to be joyful about when they were in the midst of severe trials? Well, they had joy in the fact that God’s grace was poured out upon them. That is truly enough to make you joyful until you close your eyes in death. They had joy in the fact that they had been brought by God out of darkness and into light and that they were on their way to eternity in heaven.

Prayer: God, I pray that I would honor You as I practice grace giving. When I am in the midst of trials, help me to remember that, because Your grace has been poured out on me, I have a reason to be joyful. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Corinthians 8:2).

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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