A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

One of the most common theological questions in the world today is, “If God is so loving, why is there pain in the world?” Most people ask this question out of deep hurt, longing for God to reveal Himself, or from a place of bitterness because they feel He hasn’t.

 

When the disciples encountered a man blind from birth, they asked Jesus a similar question: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). Essentially they were asking, “Who is to blame for this man’s affliction?” Most Jews believed illness was a direct result of sin, but Jesus’ answer turned the Jewish worldview on its head.

 

Rather than spur on a theological debate about sin, pain, and the fall of mankind, Jesus decided to point to the greater Truth: “. . . this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). Jesus was saying that it did not matter what caused the man’s blindness--what mattered was that God would reveal Himself in the midst of it. Jesus then rubbed spit and mud into the blind man’s eyes, miraculously healing him of lifelong blindness.

 

Every human being is born spiritually blind. We are all born blind to the fact that our sin has pitted us against God. We are all born blind to the fact that nothing can truly satisfy us apart from Jesus. The only cure is for Jesus to open our eyes. Only then do we see who we are--sinners in desperate need of forgiveness. It is then we see who Jesus is--the King of kings, our only hope, the Redeemer of our souls.

 

Jesus demonstrated that he could not only open a blind man’s physical eyes but could soften his heart, too. This man, formerly blind, first believed Jesus was only a prophet (see John 9:17) but left believing He was Lord (see John 9:38). It took the healing touch of God to soften his heart and build his faith. This man had a life-changing encounter with Jesus and left as a man with 20/20 vision, physically and spiritually!

 

Although the world is fallen and there is not always an explanation for the pain we face, God is big enough to bring healing and renewal. We do not always know the reasons for darkness, but we do know that God’s light overcomes it.

 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for bringing beauty out of ashes. I pray You will be glorified in my life in every circumstance. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).

 Check out more from Dr. 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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