An old hymn comes to mind, with Thanksgiving drawing near, called “Count Your Blessings”. It’s such a simple song, but it has a powerful message of counting each blessing so that we can see all that God has done in our lives. It is so easy to take for granted the blessings that He gives to us. Taking the time to sit down and write out the blessings that God has given to us each day actually makes them become more concrete and gives us something to hold onto when trials come.
Unfortunately, it is often difficult to see the blessings through all the chaos and noise of life. I remember when my dad was receiving treatment for cancer, I was determined to recognize God’s hand at work each day. Some days were more challenging than others, but even on the darkest days God would reveal blessings that I normally would have taken for granted: the phone call from a praying friend, vending machines with much-needed caffeine and chocolate just when I needed it most, and family to share the burden.
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He shared blessings known as The Beatitudes. Matthew 5:3-12 says:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
- Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
Look at all those blessings! Each of these scriptures presents a situation that is painful or challenging, but Jesus explained the enormous blessings that would be received – the blessings we too shall receive as believers.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. When our focus is on God rather than the circumstance, it is easier to give thanks during difficult times because we know that He has a plan. If we are actively searching for a blessing in the situation, we will be more likely to recognize His hand at work in the process. I want to challenge you to give thanks in everything and focus not on the circumstances you are facing but instead focus on the many blessings God gives each day. May God bless you today in ways that you cannot overlook.
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