Read Ephesians 1:11-14.

The disciple of Jesus must go directly to the Lord Himself in the pages of Scripture to discover the Truth of who He is. And the most foundational Truth about God is that He is sovereign. God accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will—nothing can thwart His purposes (see Ephesians 1:11; Psalm 135:5-6; Isaiah 14:27; Job 42:2). God’s knowledge, authority, power, and dominion extend to the smallest thing in the whole universe. And this absolute rule is the axle around which all God’s other attributes revolve.

People tend to have one of two responses to the idea of God’s sovereignty in the midst of this broken world: Either they don’t believe the Lord is in perfect control of the universe, or they don’t believe He is perfectly good. As we look around our world and see evil, pain, and suffering, it can be easy to conclude that God is not really in control or that He must not be all that good.

You see, in our sin we want to make God like us. We want to bring Him down to our level because we want to understand how everything works, we want to be in control. However, God has declared, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). Brothers and sisters, it’s okay to be baffled by God. His ways are not our ways.

At the same time, God has revealed to us quite a bit about His will. He wants us to know He loves to save repentant sinners and that He spent many centuries preparing the world for the coming of His Son. He wants us to know that His Son, by dying on the cross and carrying the penalty due our sin, satisfied the justice of the Father. And He wants all humanity to know the salvation available through Jesus Christ, even commissioning His disciples as ambassadors of His Good News.

God wants us to know that because He is sovereign, all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (see Romans 8:28). He wants us to know that He is conforming us to the image of His Son, Jesus (see v. 29). He wants us to know we can live this life without fearing the future because it is in His hands—and He loves us.

Prayer: Lord, You are the one, true God, sovereign alone over all. May I live according to this Truth and enjoy the peace of knowing Your love through my Savior, Jesus. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, . . .” (Ephesians 1:11).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Discipleship 101, Part 1: WATCH 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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