This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4.
Pray, pray earnestly and without ceasing, but do not forget to praise. It becomes every child of God to vindicate His character. You can magnify the Lord; you can show the power of sustaining grace. There are multitudes who do not appreciate the great love of God nor the divine compassion of Jesus. Thousands even regard with disdain the matchless grace shown in the plan of redemption. All who are partakers of this great salvation are not clear in this matter. They do not cultivate grateful hearts. But the theme of redemption is one that the angels desire to look into; it will be the science and the song of the ransomed throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. Is it not worthy of careful thought and study now? Should we not praise God with heart and soul and voice “for His wonderful works to the children of men” (Psalm 107:8)?
Praise the Lord in the congregation of His people. When the word of the Lord was spoken to the Hebrews anciently, the command was: “And let all the people say, Amen” (Psalm 106:48). When the ark of the covenant was brought into the city of David, and a psalm of joy and triumph was chanted, “all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord” (1 Chronicles 16:36). This fervent response was an evidence that they understood the word spoken and joined in the worship of God.
There is too much formality in our religious services. The Lord would have His ministers who preach the Word energized by His Holy Spirit; and the people who hear should not sit in drowsy indifference, or stare vacantly about, making no responses to what is said. The impression that is thus given to the unbeliever is anything but favorable for the religion of Christ. These dull, careless professed Christians are not destitute of ambition and zeal when engaged in worldly business; but things of eternal importance do not move them deeply. The voice of God through His messengers may be a pleasant song; but its sacred warnings, reproofs, and encouragements are all unheeded. The Spirit of the world has paralyzed them. The truths of God’s Word are spoken to leaden ears and hard, unimpressible hearts. There should be wide-awake, active churches to encourage and uphold the ministers of Christ and to aid them in the work of saving souls. Where the church is walking in the light, there will ever be cheerful, hearty responses and words of joyful praise.—Testimonies for the Church 5:317, 318.