In the early 2000’s, most likely in November around Thanksgiving time, I sat down and wrote out a list of blessings in my life. Of course, my salvation in Christ, my family, and God’s provisions topped the list. But I specifically included personal experiences and events in life which probably wouldn’t seem like a blessing to most people, and quite frankly didn’t initially seem like a blessing to me at the time either. I realized, however, that many of my spiritual blessings and much of my spiritual growth came from relying on God and His word during, and in some cases years after, I’d experienced difficult times in my life. Many of which have become topics in my blog which I began writing in 2016. Romans 8:28 was and still is one of my favorite Bible verses:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Over the years I not only learned that being a Christian does not make any of us immune to life’s trials and tribulations, but that those trials and tribulations very likely have a divine purpose.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4

Thus my blog posts are generally about my life experiences combined with one or more aspects concerning the gift of faith, our sin nature, repentance, trust, God’s amazing mercy and undeserved saving grace, salvation in Him alone, forgiveness, etc.

Specifically on the topic of forgiveness in relation to thankfulness and blessing, I realize it was not until I received God’s forgiveness that I was able to genuinely forgive others. That forgiveness which I’ve extended to others has in turn blessed me in ways I would have never realized without first being forgiven by Christ. The joy of knowing that God knows the worst of me and loves me anyway, is immeasurable. The blessing of being forgiven by Christ and the freedom of forgiving others also brings a joy to my life that is hard to describe. Words like peace, happiness, gratefulness, thankfulness, blessedness, probably come closest to describing this feeling of joy.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:12

So, twenty years after making that list of blessings, I’m still thankful 🙌🏻 for my salvation in Him, my family, and His provisions. His amazing grace and providence in my life is in fact amazing. I’m once again reminded that sometimes blessings may not initially appear to be a blessing. It is with hope and faith in Him that we look to God for answers, and in His perfect timing. In the meantime, we are to “count your blessings” as Johnson Oatman, Jr reminds us in his hymn:

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.

#JohnsonOatmanJr 🎶 ✍🏻

4 thoughts on “Count your Blessings

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