Counting Every Blessing

Posted: November 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhthe-things-you-take-for-granted-someone-else-is-praying-for-quote-1ead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change on your dresser, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you own a computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who have that opportunity.

And if you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day. If you’ve never experienced fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are more blessed than 700 million other people in the world.

If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world .

Why is it that we take for granted the uncounted blessings of life until they are removed from us?  It is important that we develop the habit of counting all our blessings.

It is important to be thankful, but it is also important to express this thankfulness.
David says in Ps. 107 “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.” We should express our thanks to God and others.  In Luke 17 we read about ten men who were healed by Jesus of their leprosy. Out of those ten men only one came back to give thanks and Jesus said, “Where are the other nine?” He was the only one willing to take time to go back and say “thank you.” Because of that Jesus said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”  Have you ever wondered why Jesus said that?  Like the nine others who chose not to come back, the man was already healed of his leprosy. But when Jesus says to this one man, “Your faith has made you well,” He wasn’t just talking about a physical healing, he was talking about a spiritual one. He was made truly whole and complete. We too are made whole by our thanksgiving. Psychologists today tell us that sincere gratitude, thanksgiving, is the healthiest of all human emotions. Hans Selye, who is considered the father of stress studies, has said that gratitude produces more positive emotional energy than any other attitude in life.

Our prayers are often very general. We say, “Thank you God for all your blessings” but what blessings are we really thankful for? Count your blessings…name them one by one.  It is not uncommon for people to compile wish lists at Christmas, and draw up a list of resolutions for the New Year. But there is another list often overlooked – a Thanksgiving list of all for which we are thankful.  If we sat down and thought about it, we could come up with many blessings that God has provided.

But our Thanksgiving should also include the burdens of life.  This is a tough one. 1Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in ALL circumstances.” Ephesians 5:20 says, “Always giving thanks.” You may think, surely Paul made a mistake or even that this was easy for him to say. But it wasn’t. Paul suffered from some very difficult problem that he called a thorn in the flesh. He also had been run out of town, beaten, whipped, imprisoned, betrayed by friends, naked, cold, hungry shipwrecked, and stoned because of his faith. Yet, Paul never stopped giving thanks.

Maybe when we prepare our lists, we should include things such as these: “I am thankful for: The taxes I pay – because it means I have a job;  the clothes that fit a little too snug – because it means I have enough to eat; a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need washing, and gutters that need cleaning – because it means I have a home; my huge heating bill – because it means I am warm; the piles of laundry – because it means I have loved ones nearby. Now our lists might not all be the same, but I’m convinced that if we began to make a list, we would find that we have much more for which to be thankful than just our material possessions. Like you, I’m sure my list would include the major things life, health, family, friends, and the nation we live in, despite all its flaws.  But if we really thought about it, our lists would include the myriad of small blessings that God showers upon us every day.  There are many things that we take for granted, but it is important to count all of our blessings, every day, not just 1 day out of the year.  Thank you, Lord!  Amen.

 

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