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. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
- Ephesians 1:3-14
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 has done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord has 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 [*wealth can never 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.
- Johnson Oatman Jr., Count Your Blessings
Many people these days are turning to ‘science’ to try to cure the spiritual. We fall into that comparative trap of how little we have compared to the riches that someone else has. When they did not work so hard to get it, it makes the comparison even more urgent.
Is this new? King David laments in more than one Psalm that God is allowing David’s enemies to laugh at him. In Psalm 13:2-4, David laments that his enemies have triumphed and rejoiced. Nearly the same words regarding enemies being triumphant can be found in Psalm 25:2. But, read those psalms in their entirety. King David does not wallow in self-pity for long. He glorifies God even in his suffering.
But many times, we are not even suffering. The neighbor, who barely has a high school education just bought his wife a new Mercedes, because his Mercedes was lonesome in the garage. You know the type, that gives a name to their car and treats them like a member of the family? You shake your head and park your ten-year-old compact car on a bare concrete slab, exposed to the elements. Is that suffering? Not hardly, but you lament as if it is.
I have heard a couple of interviews with David Robertson about his book, A. S. K. In at least two instances he has said that the teen-agers of the Western World are the only ones who asked questions regarding suffering. Africa and Asia, where Christians are, in many places, physically persecuted, did not mention suffering in the questions that they submitted. When you have nothing to compare to or the rich are so far richer that they are unreachable, you simply accept a suffering life as simply be “life.”
If the Western culture could just put blinders on…
Then we could see the multitude of blessings that God has bestowed on us, just since the sun came up today.
The following video features Guy Penrod singing the quoted song above. For some odd reason, my wife likes Mr. Penrod.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.