“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.(Isaiah 41:10)
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(Luke 6:37-38)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.(James 1:17-18)
Do you feel blessed? It is not a question that we are frequently asked, but as Christians we should all feel that we are blessed. I was thinking the other day about a young man who was in my youth group when I was a teenager. His name was Mark. At that time in the Salvation Army it was usual to have two services every Sunday, one in the morning and one in the evening. Often, as part of the evening service, a request would be made for anybody in the congregation to stand up and give their testimony. Imagine if you will sitting in one of our Sunday services and the leader of the service asking for a volunteer to give their testimony reflecting on what God had done for them over the past week. Well many people would be thankful if you had someone like Mark in the service, for he was able every week, if no one else stood up, to give his testimony. Every week he was able to find something that had happened during the week to share with the rest of the congregation. He always allowed enough time for someone else to speak before him, but if the silence went on too long he was always there with something to say.
I was thinking about Mark as I was reflecting on what I was going to write in this week’s Thought for the Day. Sometimes I feel like I won’t be able to think of something to write about, my mind races through the events of the previous week to see if somewhere in all the things that have happened I can get some inspiration. As I reflected on the week that has passed I found I had much to be thankful for. Many of us will know the song that says ‘when upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings’. Well that seems like we are missing out, for if we only count our blessings when things are going badly, we might forget to count our blessings when things are going well.
I am truly blessed, I am loved by a God who is the creator of this world, who loved me so much that he sent his son to die for me. I am saved and have a place in heaven marked out for me. I also have more than enough to eat, clothes to wear, a safe place to call home, friends and family and many other blessings besides.
Don’t wait until things are difficult, count your blessings every day, every week, in the happy times and the sad, in the easy times and the hard, count your blessings so that when someone asks you if you are blessed, you can reply with confidence that yes you are.
Thank you Father God for the many blessings that you have given us. May we never take these blessings for granted.