COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS
Yesterday on our way home after buying groceries Glyn and I were talking about how much life has changed for us since he lost his job in May last year. Every penny we spend now has to be stretched to purchase necessities and not spent on frivolous whims.
Just to set the record straight I am not seeking sympathy! My family will tell you that I am a master at “rationing food” to make it stretch and probably could get a medal for being a hopeless miser!
Glyn started the conversation saying that even though we have a limited income and are facing an uncertain future, he rests in the knowledge that when the money runs out God WILL BE THERE FOR US in one way or another. This led us to reminiscing over some of the amazing times God has stepped in when we could only turn to Him for help. We began to “count our blessings” both past and present; by the time we arrived home we were flooded with a sense of contentment and peace.
A Wall Street Journal columnist, Jonathan Clements, offered his readers “Nine Tips for Investing in Happiness.” Interestingly, one of his suggestions was precisely the same admonition we read in the favorite old hymn by Johnson C. Oatman, “Count Your Many Blessings.”
Clements urged his readers not to brood over the riches of their neighbors and those in their circle of acquaintances, but to focus on the many blessings they actually DO possess. This man was giving wise and scriptural counsel, as the Word teaches us that our “spiritual wealth” in Jesus is immeasurably more valuable than any material possessions this world can offer.
God did not give us the Bible as a guidebook for a “get rich quick” formula, even though there are many that teach this idea. God’s Word tells us how we can be eternally joyful even in times of financial poverty and how we can experience joy on our way to the eternal life and joy He is preparing for us.
The Apostle Paul reminded young Timothy this truth:
“Godliness with contentment is great gain,” (1 Tim. 6:6).
The apostle wanted his protégé to understand that being grateful for the BASICS of life would help keep him from the trap of covetousness. It is so easy to slide into an attitude of feeling sorry for ones-self when we see others, both godly and ungodly, abounding in worldly goods and wealth.
The key to contentment is in what we are focusing on. Do we long for the luxury and security in this world that will eventually pass away or do we anticipate unwaveringly the glory that a-waits the children of God in our eternal home?
The answer found in the verse of “Count Your Blessing”!
“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.”
Today let us focus on the wonders of God’s grace, training ourselves to make a spirit of gratitude pervade our daily lives. That’s the true way to experience contentment and to be forever joyful regardless of our circumstances.