Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. (Ps. 57:8)

MY THREE-YEAR-OLD SON is definitely a morning person.

I’m not.

He rises with infectious energy and a brilliant smile, but when he bounds into my bed early on a Saturday morning, his writhing and giggling make for a rude awakening. So for me, the psalmist’s determination to “awaken the dawn” conjures my son’s animated pleas to come build block towers with him when I’d rather stay in bed. He isn’t the kind to wake with the dawn; he expects the dawn to wake for him.

But that’s the psalmist’s point. If my praise was as exuberant as my son’s morning buoyancy, it could dispel even the darkest night.

Especially in the midst of hardship, praise does more than glorify God. It lifts our thoughts heavenward and reorients our earth-bound perspective. When we’re preoccupied with adoration, we find less to complain about, which takes much of the sting out of adversity. Our defiant persistence in worship doesn’t change the circumstances we face, but it can help us endure them with greater peace and a stubborn kind of joy.

I treasure my family time on Saturday mornings, even if it means rarely getting to sleep in after a long workweek. I also enjoy the special intimacy I have with God in worship. Perhaps I should view life’s difficulties as His loving way of keeping me from sleeping in on our relationship, too.

Begin each day this week with a brief declaration of praise.

Johnathan Kana lives with his wife and two children in rural central Texas. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing piano and composing music.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.