Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Week Seven - Count Your Blessings

Pause and sing the chorus with me!

Count your blessings,
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

Count your blessings,
Name them one by one.
And it will surprise you,
What the Lord hath done. 

Have you ever tried restricting your prayer time to doing this only? Remembering all God has done in the past and counting the blessings, the joy, or the lessons learned? It is a good practice. It brings such joy and humility to the heart.

Paul says to the Thessalonicans - "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father" (1 Thess. 1:3). He had watched these people grow in the Lord. Their testimony of faith, love, and hope bloomed in his heart, making them his joy and crown of rejoicing, a feather proudly displayed in his cap, if you will.

God gets the glory when we remember His works, mercy, and leading and then give thanks. I challenge you to try a moment of prayer right now thanking God for all He has done in your past. Let the tears of rejoicing flow as you see His hand guiding you, forgiving, and helping you through every trial.

But don't stop there. Take time also to pay attention to what is happening now. God is at work around you today. "This is the day which the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

As you read First Thessalonians, you hear the heart of a man actively watching what is happening in Thessalonica, and he rejoices to see their faith and love that is resulting in extended influence for Christ.

Friend, God is at work. He is moving things into position for the rapture of the church, for Christ's return, and for God's final glory. Souls are being saved around the world. Churches are being planted, and the gospel is being heard by millions in a way we could not have imagined even ten years ago.

Let's not allow the noise of the world or the ugliness of life to block our view of God's eternal work. And we, as His children, are a part of that work. He works through us just as He did among the Thessalonicans back when Paul first visited Europe.

Let's be thankful. God is here, loving and caring for us today. Rejoice!

And then, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Think ahead. What will God do tomorrow, next week, or next year? We don't know, do we? But we can rest assured He will continue working. And all things, according to Ephesians 1:11, are done "according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." So we can begin thanking Him that He is in control. He knows our future and has it all worked out perfectly. We can thank Him because He will equip us and prepare our hearts no matter what is ahead.

In everything...give thanks. Everything. 

I have found that even in an awful situation, I can find glimmers of thanksgiving if I but look. And this always raises my spirits and helps me see God at work around me, helping me remember how He has worked in the past and giving me hope for both today and tomorrow.

Thankfulness is a key attitude and attribute of the child of God. Cultivate it each day by remembering how God has been there for you in the past, being aware of His activity today, and looking forward to tomorrow by faith with thanksgiving.

Then, you will have truly learned to count your blessings!

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