Do You Count Your Blessings?

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

By Johnson Oatman (1856-1922)

I want to tell you a story.  A story of a pastor who had an opportunity to lead worship music during a service in a leper colony on the island of Tobago.  They were nearing the end of the music session but had time for one more song request.  A woman who had been facing away from the pastor turned to him and raised her hand that had no fingers.  Her nose was entirely gone and both of her ears were missing.  Most of her lips had rotted away and the rest of her body was filled with terrible cankerous sores from the disease.  Hardly able to look at her the pastor asked what would she like them to sing.  She asked if they could sing the hymn “Count Your Blessings”.  The pastor was so overcome with emotion, he had to leave the service.  One of his church members followed him out and said, “Brother Jack, I guess you’ll never be able to sing that song again.”  The pastor said, “Yes, I will, but I’ll never sing it the same way again.”                                                   Rev. Dr. Jack Hinton  (1935 – 2014)

 

There are going to be times when you feel alone and think no-one understands or even cares.  But look closely and carefully, and you will see just how much your cup is overflowing.  God will give you the blessings, more than you need, but exactly what you need when you need it.

 

Habakkuk chapter 3:17-19 almost puts this dear woman’s story into a song.

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls – Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me to walk on my high hills.” 

When you encounter difficult paths in life, turn to the One who can enable you to walk without stumbling…
such a blessing it is.

 

So what is a blessing?  One definition (among others) in the Oxford dictionary says “God’s favour and protection.”  We all may have different blessings, depending on our walk of life.

Here’s a few of mine…

 

Is your heart beating?     

Mine is.  This to me is a blessing.

 

Are you loved? 

I am.  God loves me.  Jesus loves me.  My husband loves me.  My family members love me.  My cat loves me.  I love them.  This to me is a blessing.

 

What are you grateful for?  I have a wonderful husband.  Someone God placed in my way to meet and care for.  A caring, loving person who also loves God.  I have a nice wee house that provides shelter and protection.  A house that was a labour of love that my husband and I were able to create.  A house where God blessed us with the place on which our house sits.  I had, (since they have passed on) an aunt and uncle, and grandmother who nurtured me, prayed for me and helped in-still the love of God in my life, for which I am grateful.  I am grateful for a loving earthly father, who rescued me from a situation as a child from abuse and neglect.  For I know not where I would be today had all these people not been there for me.  I count each one of them as a blessing.

Have you been forgiven?  When I asked Jesus into my heart, to forgive me of my past transgressions and sins, of which I had quite a few, He forgave me.  This is a blessing.  Whenever I have needed someone to forgive me for something I may have caused them heartache about, and they have, this too is a blessing.  Because I have been forgiven, I must in turn forgive others, pray for them and show them the hope that is in Jesus.  I am blessed to be able to do this.

 

Have you been in some scrapes and gotten out of them? 

It could be drugs, alcohol, a dangerous situation.  And you say “Boy someone was watching out for me that time”. 

Who do you think that someone was?  Do you feel blessed to have escaped something terrible?

I think blessings come directly from God.

He loves us so.

Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.”

Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold yo with My righteous right hand.”   WHAT A BLESSING!!

Sometimes we just don’t take the time to realize that God is with us.  His name is JESUS. 

The Lord’s prayer is full of blessings

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”

What a blessing that our Father in heaven has our backs, we praise Him and love Him for that.

“Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

What a blessing that we have in knowing that one day God’s kingdom will be here on earth and we will live in the peace above all peace, that is heaven and where pain, sorrow, tears, terror and anguish will never be again.

“Give us our daily bread.”

What a blessing we have in the supply of food that nourishes and sustains us, each day, including our very breath.  Asking God for daily bread acknowledges our complete dependence on Him.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

What a blessing it is to be able to make our relationship with the Lord right.  When we ask Him to forgive our sins, He does.  But without that relationship, our relationship with others will be harder to make right.   As Jesus said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matthew 6:14-15

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

What a blessing it is to know that with God’s protection we can avoid temptations and trials and tests that the evil one (Satan) likes to throw into our paths.  When we live in the power of God’s strength we won’t be overtaken. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.”

 To know that giving all the glory to God in everything, He showers us with blessings.

Are you feeling blessed yet? 

Now go and count your blessings! 

 

If you don’t know Jesus, seek Him, ask Him into your heart by saying this little prayer.  Live for Him and watch your blessings increase.