Count Your Blessings
(By David Sykes)
We can all recall our parents, close friends or work colleagues exhorting us to do this at some time in the past. In fact, this approach is scriptural and can be found in the New Testament, Colossians 2:7, where it states:
‘Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done’
We need to cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving in our daily walk with Christ. I hear you reply, how can this be done at such a time as the present severe pandemic we are all living through, both as a world and individuals within it? I think the secret lies in the quality of the relationship we have with Jesus.
Human beings are relational creatures – each of us have inner needs of companionship, whether on a one-to-one basis or in a community sense. Our walk with Christ is also relational. To be meaningful the relationship must be reciprocal and not one sided. It is important to share our needs and concerns with Him, but we must try and avoid giving Him lists each time we come into His presence, even acknowledging that God is our father and shepherd and therefore loves to hear and meet our needs. Our main priority is to be one of praise and thanksgiving.
On a human level it is true that our relationships only grow if we spend time with the other person or organisation of which we are part, whether it a local art society or church. The same applies in our Christian walk with other Christians and above all Christ himself. Our dialogue must be reciprocal and two-way. Not passive, but active. By dialogue I mean:
• Worshipping Him – even in times of pain or difficult personal circumstances
• Listening to Him – our prayers must not be dictated by concerns of self interest
• Receiving from Him.
I therefore recommend finding a space in your daily life to set aside for Christ – even 5 minutes, where you can nurture your relationship with your Saviour. I guarantee that it will change what may have been a ‘grumbling spirit’ into one of praise and worship and an outward focus on the needs of others, especially at this time when our local church has suffered much sickness and bereavement.
Eileen reminded me of an old hymn we used to sing at church when we were very young:
Count your many blessings(“Count Your Blessings” by Guy Penrod)
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done.