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Count Your Blessings

We are blessed. Yet if we are not careful, we can lapse into a state of ingratitude, taking for granted all the great physical blessings we enjoy as Americans and the innumerable spiritual blessings we enjoy through Christ Jesus. We can revert into an attitude of self-satisfaction, expecting that peace and bliss will always follow us. During those times we should, with sincerity of heart, count our blessings!
I remember my mother teaching me the popular hymn, “Count Your Blessings.”   As I grow older, I have come to appreciate this hymn even more.  

The first verse of the hymn reads:
“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 has done.”

Life will not be easy.  The fact is, we will face challenges and difficult times.  We will become discouraged and at times and think, “all is lost.” Yet those moments are when we need to slow down. We need to realize how truly blessed we are and turn to the Lord.

Psalm 46:10 “He says, Be still, and know that I am God.”  

We live a frantic and fast paced life.  Yet, we are called to slow down and turn to God. The time when we think that we have no time for God is the exact moment we need Him the most. Isaiah 30:15 “For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength. “But you were not willing,”   May it never be said of us that we were unwilling to rest… unwilling to repent… unwilling to be quiet and trust in the Lord’s strength. Unwilling to count our blessings!

“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”

Worry can ruin our lives.  It is the burden that Jesus has told us to put aside, trust in Him and bear His cross. We are called to put aside our own personal interests, to crucify the old man of sin of death, and follow Christ with our whole heart. Luke 9:57-62 “As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”   
As a blessed people, have we put aside the cares of this world and put spiritual blessings first in our life?  Are our hearts fully following Him?  We are called to bear His cross, as we go through this life. In Galatians 2:19  the apostle Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  
Have you truly been crucified with Christ? Has self-reliance ceased? If it has, then the doubt and cares of this world will fly away. Our hearts will be full of joy and love.

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

Our Lord is in control! We must trust in Him, and we will not be discouraged.  
Romans 8:31-39 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May we always have a heart of gratitude and never take for granted the innumerable blessings we have through Christ Jesus. He will protect us, if we give our whole heart to Him. When you find yourself being tossed about by the cares of this world, burdened with care, or feel His cross is too heavy to bear, slow down and Count Your Blessings, they are beyond measure!
Psalm 40:55   Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

- Craig Barth