An attitude of “count your blessings, not your troubles” will change attitudes from negative to positive, if we will let it! If we can see our day to day problems and even our longer-range problems against a background of our blessings, our lives can be much happier, and we will have a much different outlook in light of His dear grace. It is easier to “BEEF” about our burdens than to “BRAG” about God’s blessings!
The Hebrew word for “bless,” “blessed” and “blessings” in its various usages is often a form of the word “ehsher,” which simply means “happiness.” Forms of that word are found over forty times in Scripture, including the beautiful statement of David in Psalm 144:15 – “Happy (blessed) are the people whose God is the Lord.” Most people “look for happiness in all the wrong places” – real happiness comes when your “God is the Lord.”
It is so easy to focus on our problems instead of our blessings. It is easy to focus on what we do not have instead of what we do have. This is the whole goal of advertising. Advertising emphasizes what we do not have. Often our hearts then turn to covetousness and a desire to have that which we do not have. I fly many miles on airlines. I am blessed to have technology that allows me the convenience to bring my work with me and additional reading materials of that which I need to consume. It was not like this many years ago when I began to travel. I would lug out a 17 inch screen computer, wait for it to boot up, begin to work or read and (don’t get ahead of me) you know what happened next. Either the guy in front of me decided to recline, leaving me no room to operate the monster on my lap or time was ended as the battery life was complete. It is then that I would pick up the famous magazine in most airline pouches called Sky Mall. I think there is something for everyone in that book. I know the green-eyed monster of covetousness grows when I gander through its pages. I rarely pick up that magazine anymore and have found that God has a way of giving to you abundantly, without covetousness being the motive and drive. And in the meantime, life is much simpler and clearer when I focus on the blessings of what I do have verses those things I do not.
I take this idea of counting my blessings into the realm of physical problems and ailments. I have been blessed! I can see with two eyes. I can hear with two ears. I can taste with awesome taste buds. I can proclaim the glorious gospel. I have use of two arms and two legs. I have all ten toes and ten fingers. Wow! I am so blessed. Yet, there are some other things that do not function properly. There are reports that I get from my doctor that cause be to have to adjust medications and even change lifestyles from time to time. I must be honest. Recently my doctor advised me to just “follow the directions” concerning diabetes and then forget about it and enjoy life. She was trying to lead to the point that being overly focused on that which is not working properly will only lead to stress that will cause other complications or even greater complications! Let’s focus our attention on our blessings. Let’s think of what we do have instead of what we do not have. It would be good exercise for each one of us to sit down and make a list of all our blessings, and then to post that list in some prominent place where we can see it daily as we go about our usual routine. In some manner, we must let the positive dominate our thinking in order not to become negative minded, pessimistic, and a defeatist.
I thank God for each of you the reader of these blogs and the supporters of the RUI Ministry.
Benjamin R. Burks
Verses on Counting Your Blessings
1Timothy 2:1, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”
2Thessalonians 2:13, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”
1Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
2Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
1Corinthians 15:57-58, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Psalm 103:1-5, “A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Thing that could be included on your list
5. Salvation and Redemption
6. Who I am in Christ
7. Local church
8. Support group
9. Freedom in America
10. Beauties of nature
11. Family / friends
15. Medical care
Count your blessings – Song by John Oatman Jr.
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
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 be 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 money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high
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