Count Your Blessings!

I saw a little sign once, “Count your blessings, not your stressings!

It’s true that it is easy to think of the things that annoy, irritate and make us angry. Something about our sin nature finds perverse pleasure in remembering the BAD and forgetting the good.

God has numerous reminders in His Word both about remembering and not forgetting.

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Here are 2 examples: “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” Deuteronomy 8:2

Ecclesiastes 12:1  Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

And a verse on forgetting,

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 13, 14

The pile of stones beyond the Jordan river was a way of remembering the great acts God had done for the Israelites.

Count Your Blessings: A pile of 12 stones to help Israel remember God's blessings.
This monument helped Israel remember what God had done for them.

“Take twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan . . When your children ask someday, ‘What do these stones mean to you? you shall tell them . . .these stones are a memorial . . . that everyone on the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty and that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” (Joshua 4:3, 6-7, 24)

So what do we do to remember what God has done for us? We keep a Blessing Book. Every evening we try to end the day by thinking of at least 3 blessings from the day.

  • For example, one child had a diaper explosion the other day. That day I was especially glad for diaper wipes! You can get by without them but they sure come in handy.
  • I enjoy watching the chickadees at the bird feeder lately. They are so cheery even if it is dreary outside.
  • We are always thankful for our warm house in the winter.
  • Sometimes our Blessing Book may read a bit like a diary but each entry includes things for which we are thankful: safe travel to the doctor’s office and back, a nice visit with my longtime friend Sylvia or new glasses.

One deacon from church always begins his prayers this way, “Dear Heavenly Father, We are certainly thankful . . ” so sometimes I begin my entries the same way.

What Is a Good Perspective When You Have a Hard Year?

My friend Priscilla has had a difficult year BUT this is what she posted about it:

On this New Year’s Eve as I reflect on 2020 I’d sum up this year as God Provides. January and February we enjoyed the snow without having to be out in it. February also was our annual trip to visit family in California. We came home just before lockdown and in early March we learned a new thing with our computer called “live streaming” as we watched our daughter-in-law receive her doctorate in Education from our living room. We are so proud of her. Then it was lockdown. God provided church services on line, words like Zoom and Live Stream became ordinary. My family did our shopping. June restrictions were lifted, so we went up North fishing. July I celebrated my 72nd birthday with cake and no parade or fireworks. August we enjoyed a visit from our great niece and her 3 little ones. What fun we had. She treated us for our 51st wedding anniversary too. September became a month of funerals but God comforts. In October my husband John celebrated his 78th birthday. Then came November. COVID19 became very real. God provided a family member who recognized how sick my husband was and called 911. God provided medical care. And God provided many to comfort and check on us. December has been a month of seeing God providing strength for each day. Days when I was at my wit’s end God provided friends to encourage, friends who brought meals, and faithful prayer warriors who kept us going. Because God is faithful we can look forward to 2021 and know GOD Provides. May you all have a blessed New Year.

I appreciate Priscilla’s good attitude about her 2020 year and situation. We are so thankful that her husband John is doing much better. What about you? Can you take your difficult situation and still see God’s blessings in your life? Can you see that God Provides?

Can You Count Your Blessings When You Are Sad?

I realize there are tragedies, horrific accidents, and inexplicably sad things that happen in the world. Through these things we can easily see the overwhelming influence of sin. But we need to keep our eyes on biblical truth! There is sin that separates us from God. God provided a way to for us to be right with Him through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross. When we accept this gift of salvation, God saves us and helps us live for Him. And someday when we die, we get to go live in Heaven with Him. Praise the Lord for this truth.

Count Your Blessings in Song

Do songs help you learn things? Me, too! Here are the lyrics from the hymn, Count Your Blessings. If you don’t know all the verses, learning them would be a good goal for the year.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain

Lyrics by Johnson Oatman, Jr and music by Edwin Othello Excell, 1897

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