Have you ever wondered how Moses handled discouragement? Or how Paul maintained a positive attitude when he faced the criticism and threats of others?

Surely Paul fought with discouragement when he faced the threat of death. However, he kept his focus set on Christ, his source of infinite strength and eternal hope. We can do the same.

Life may have many challenges—especially when you are doing what God has given you to do. But you don't have to be overwhelmed by disappointment. We should long to be heroes of the faith—people who seek to win the race set before us and to achieve the goal that God has given.

When trouble comes, don't give up. Don't lose heart, and don't listen to harassment. God has a plan for your life. When you feel like quitting, think about Paul's life and all he did for the Lord. He was not called to be famous or to have a vast sum of money. He was called by God to preach His Word to the lost. Paul did exactly what he was called to do. He obeyed God and surrendered his life to Christ. He went from being a man of position in the Jewish faith to an outcast and traitor. What may have appeared to be failure from a human standpoint was actually the mark of true victory.

God does not ask you to cross a finish line with the goal of reaching worldly success. He does not hand out trophies that look good in a case or sitting on a shelf. Our reward is eternal and kept in heaven for us—the crown of life promised to those who love the Lord, who delight in Him and follow and obey Him because of that delight (see James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4; John 14:15, 21, 23). Forsaking all else because Christ alone is worthy, will you follow Jesus and proclaim His love and forgiveness to a dying world?

Prayer: Father, help me look to You—my utmost treasure—when I am facing discouragement and disappointment. You are my very great reward, and I know I have nothing to fear because You have overcome the world. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon The Secrets of Positive Living, Part 14: LISTEN NOW

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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