Counting the Blessings
Mom taught me many lessons. One was to always say "thank you" when I received something. For the most part, as an adult I still follow that habit of thankfulness in my relationships with others. However, I must confess that there is one area of my life where I do not express thankfulness as readily: my spiritual life. I have a feeling that I am not alone in this unintentional tendency.
Like me, you may take for granted all of the blessings God gives us; whether tangible things such as family, homes, jobs and material goods; or intangible things in life such as circumstances, guidance and direction.
Thankfulness runs through scripture. David records his thankfulness in the Psalms; his praises in Psalm 108:8,9; 109:30,32; 138:2. Paul gives thanks for his salvation in 1 Thessalonians 15:57 and for the people God has brought into his life in Ephesians 1:6. Thankfulness is found on the lips of God’s people.
In looking at Scripture as well as reflecting on my own blessings, I have come up with a few things that I am thankful for. After some thoughtful consideration I counted my blessings and wrote down this very abbreviated list:
I am thankful for:
I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for creating, saving and sustaining me.
I am thankful for my wife and children, whom God has blessed me with.
I am thankful for the opportunity to be in full-time ministry serving the body of Christ.
I am thankful for the privilege of pouring into others as God has poured into me.
I am thankful for bringing my family to Texas and to the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church, where I not only get to be a blessing to others, but am blessed by others as well.
There are so many things that we have to be thankful for, but do we take the time to thank the One who gave them to us?
I would like to present you with a one-week challenge. Grab a notebook and pen, or your favorite mobile device. Start to list off the things that you are thankful for as you begin to write them down. Spend just five minutes each day meditating on the blessings you have in your life, be they overt or “blessings in disguise.”
Then, when you go into your prayer time, pray about that list. As you pray, remember to be thankful not just for the “feel good” things but also recall those experiences and situations when you suffered pain, but God used or will use them for His glory.
I guarantee that as you begin to pray about what you are thankful for, your heart will be drawn closer to your heavenly Father who gives us all the blessings of this life and the promise of the life to come.
By Tom Grove. Grove is the executive pastor for the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church. He lives with his wife Deborah and children, Mark and Caroline, in Grand Prairie, Texas.