Count Your Blessings

Deborah Norville, the hostess of Inside Edition,  was on the morning news today hawking her new book “Thank You Power”. She claims that she has scientific edvidence that proves counting your blessings you will improve all areas of your life. I haven’t read her book, but I am skeptical of theories like this. It falls under the other positive thinking notions that are out there, and sounds a little too New Age to me. 

God is the only one who can bring blessing to your life. We don’t have that kind of power as humans. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells the crowd of 5000, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV) The only true way to a blessed life is through salvation in Jesus Christ. A Godly life doesn’t necessarily mean everything will always go that way you want. You have only to read the book of Job to understand that. What it does mean is that God will provide forgiveness, guidance, grace and mercy. If you seek and do his will, live your life according to his plan and purpose, he will honor that. Some rewards may be earthly. The ultimate reward will be eternal life in heaven some day.  Sometimes blessings are truely in disguise, and you may never even realize all that God has done for you.

It does make sense to me that if you count your blessings and focus on the good things in your life the bad things will seem less important. The old hymn “Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman, Jr. illustrates this excellently. How many times did I sing these words in church as a kid?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Remember to thank God for what he has done while you are counting your blessings. It will help cultivate a heart of gratefulness and humility.

Well, I am going to count my blessings now. Let’s see how many I can come up with.

1. I have a great Christian husband

2. I have a great two-year-old son

3. I have two great Christian parents

4. I have two great Christian Parents-in-law

5. I have a great Christian Brother and Sister-in-law

6. I have assurance of my salvation through Jesus Christ

7. My husband has a good job

8. I am able to be a Stay-at-home-mom

9. I have food to put on the table for my family each day

10. I live in a warm, dry, safe home

11. I have two dogs, a blessing most of the time

12. I live in a free country

13. My family has vehicles for transportation

14. I grew up in a loving Christian home

15. I was able to go to college

16. I am healthy

17. My husband is healthy 

18. Where I live in the country I can pursue gardening, a hobby I enjoy

19. In edition to my family I have always had good friends to lend support

20. Before I stopped working to stay home, I always had a job

21. I have a good church to attend

22. I have never been seriously injured or ill

23. My pregnancy and birth of my son were without serious complication

24. I am able to have extra things in my life besides the basic necessities like a computer, a television, a cell phone

25. I have been able to travel in the past

26. My family has clothing and warm coats to wear

27. My son has toys to play with

28. We have beds to sleep in

29. When we are sick we can go to the doctor and buy medicine

30. At times God has used family and friends to provide, through their generosity, things that we needed

31. I can take my son outside to play and not worry if the neighborhood is safe

32. We have electricity

33. We have heat

34. We have air conditioning

35. We have running water and hot water

36. We have a telephone

37. My parents and in-laws are wonderful grandparents to my son

38. My son is healthy

39. We have furniture to sit on

40. I have household appliances such as a fridge, stove, washer and dryer

I suppose a lot of these things seem very every-day, but its those things that we often take for granted that enrich our lives the most or make our lives easier. There are a lot of people in this world, even some here in the United States, that live every day with out all these things that we think are just basic. I am not rich, but I am blessed and thankful. If I sat here longer I could probably add more to this list. What are you blessed with? Add it up. The sum is greater than you might think.

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