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).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Empowered by Praise: WATCH NOW | 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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