Do you remember the hymn, Count Your Blessings?
Well, now is the time in history for us all to intentionally count and remember our blessings. Each and every one. Such acknowledgment helps us to be mindful of living in a spirit of thanksgiving. Such humility honors God and delivers to Him all the glory in our lives.
A thankful spirit opens the gates of heaven.
A thankful spirit is a secret to happiness.
A thankful spirit protects us from discontent, distraction and despair.
Every ungodly spirit assails us night and day to prevent us from finding or enjoying thankfulness. That is their job, and you know the darts: greed, complaint, envy, jealousy, strife, self-pity, discontent, restlessness, despair, lust, and so on.
Thanksgiving is a garment just like praise (Is. 61:3) and it protects us. Thanksgiving protects us not only defensively but offensively, too. An open, uplifted and unfailing spirit of thanksgiving works wonders in many ways. As you remember and acknowledge and thank God for His blessings, He and His blessings and His presence grow bigger and more real to you while your problems grow smaller and become more manageable.
I personally attest to the protection of thanksgiving in my book, My Journey Through the Cross. Thanksgiving and praise protected me diligently through years of trouble and trial. God is always faithful to His Word.
I challenge you as well as I do myself to seek and maintain a spirit of thanksgiving in these days. I know this is not an easy challenge. However, by God’s grace in doing so, our lives will be transformed and God will be glorified.
Take five minutes of the day God had given you and with the hands He has given you, write down every blessing you can acknowledge. Keep the list out taped beside your desk or under a magnet on your fridge and be intentional about adding to it each day. God will reveal to you more blessings to add to the list than you will believe. This is not just a spiritual exercise. Literally, the focus of thanksgiving will transform your mind and change your life.
And know, too, that once you seek to practice this life of thanksgiving, you’ll probably encounter resistance. However, continue to press in and submit to God resisting the enemy and you WILL be rewarded. Thanksgiving brings victory because it leads to humility and enjoying God’s presence. Some other rewards include enjoying the fruit of the spirit, reduction of stress in life, and a sober and steadfast mind.
Do not let this opportunity pass you by. Take the jewel of thanksgiving and hide it in your heart. Protect it and allow its fragrance to fill your life one moment at a time.
When you are ready to receive a spirit of thanksgiving, God will show you how to maintain it. As always, give yourself grace and time.
Below are the lyrics to the hymn.
Please read them slowly and carefully.
Allow God to speak to you.
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.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God 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 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.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
As God has said, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’
1 Corinthians 9:23
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.