He was facing one of the hardest times of his life. His wife, then in her early 40s, had received a cancer diagnosis, and the couple had four small children.
"I remember crying to God. I said, 'Lord, what am I going to do with all these kids?" Bible teacher and bestselling author Dr. Michael Youssef tells Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. "I was just like a little boy crying to his daddy."
But this trial unlocked for Youssef a secret spiritual key: Praising God as a way to endure life's challenges. Since then, this truth has impacted countless lives through his book Empowered by Praise, now celebrating its 20th anniversary in print.
"The Lord said, 'You know, I want to not waste this experience,' Youssef says. "And I want you to learn how to praise Me in the midst of that difficult time you're going through. And then the Lord basically began to teach me how to learn to praise."
"When we talk about praise, we often think of a praise band and praise service and praise this and praise that," he adds. "But the book is about the life of praise that is a lifestyle, and daily learning how to praise God ... And that is the only thing that will uplift us and empower us above the circumstances, above the difficulties."
Youssef says in the years since his book was first published, thousands of people have written to him saying how the power of praise has transformed their lives. "Learning to praise the names of God and the name of Jesus really lifted them up above their circumstances and above the pain that they're going through," he says. "When we praise God, we're basically aligning ourselves with the host of heaven that John the Revelator saw, praising God at the throne room of God."
Youssef says when we learn to praise God daily, we will be lifted up "to the very portals of heaven."
For much more from Dr. Michael Youssef on how praise can help lift you above your circumstances, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines at this link, and subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like this one. Find Empowered by Praise wherever fine books are sold.
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