Sometimes our vision fails us. We look at the muck and mire of our own lives, the shambles that lie at our feet, and wonder aloud how God could do anything with us. We are a mess, and we know God knows it. Yet, over and over in His Word, He promises to use us for His glory.

At times, it is difficult for us to see beyond ourselves. We see what we are, whereas God sees what we can become. However, all our striving, determination, and energy will not complete the transformation process. It is through God’s grace alone that we become what He has envisioned for us to be all along.

Paul had many trials and tribulations while delivering the Gospel message to his world. He even had a constant nagging affliction of some sort. While many scholars have speculated as to the source of this affliction, Paul never says what it is. He does not want us to miss what is most important about our moments of weakness.

Paul writes, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

From the thorns in our lives, God brings forth roses. When we are hanging by a thread at the end of our rope, God gives us the grace to hang on—He gives us the grace to scurry to the top of the rope. He does not want us to just make it; rather, His desire is to see us succeed by finding our strength in Him.

It certainly takes time and maturity to—like Paul—praise and thank God for our weaknesses. Yet, when we are willing to humble ourselves before God, He will exalt us (see James 4:10). In the midst of the trials you may be facing today, cry out to the Lord. And though it may be difficult, thank Him for what He will accomplish through your weaknesses. You may be surprised by the result!

Prayer: Lord, as I face difficulty in my life, give me the strength to continue by Your grace. I know You will accomplish Your will for my life even through my weaknesses as I trust in You.  I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

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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