When I was a boy growing up in Egypt, my grandfather was a building contractor by trade and a lay leader in the Brethren Church. He lived in a small apartment adjacent to the home of my cousins, and when I spent the night with them, I would find myself waking up several times during the night. From his apartment next door, I would hear my grandfather praising the Lord. He seemed to praise God around the clock or at least several times a night.
My grandfather lost two sons when they were in their early thirties, and he lost his wife while he was still a relatively young man. But he was always full of joy. Praise gave my grandfather his joyful heart. Until he died at the age of ninety-two, he never ceased to praise God throughout the night and then again in the morning.
My mother had grown up with this man’s model of devotion to God, and it shaped her life. It was not unusual for her to pray for one or two hours at a time. She had developed this spiritual discipline of prayer and praise from observing her father. Nothing the world offers could ever compare with this rich spiritual legacy that I inherited from my mother and grandfather.
Why should we praise God? Perhaps the foremost reason is the one evident in the life of my grandfather: joy. We praise God as an expression of our joy in Him, and that praise in turn produces in us a life of deep and abiding joy.
You can’t read the book of Revelation without realizing that the joy of praise forms the atmosphere of heaven. What an unspeakably glorious praise song is filling heaven this very minute. I have no doubt that my grandfather and mother are part of that great praise choir! What joy to know that we who are in Christ Jesus will be praising God and adoring Him forever.
Prayer: Your faithfulness fills me with joy, Lord. Truly You have done great things for me. Thank You for giving me infinite reasons to rejoice. You are worthy of all praise, glory, and adoration! I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:2).
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