Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Count Your Blessings

People just assume they will always have what they now possess. Like many, I came from poverty and have a good living. I thank God for that, but also pledge never to take what God has blessed me with for granted. Many people have climbed the ladder of the affluent and live good lives. Many of those have reaped rewards because of the hard work, motivation and generosity of others. However, a few of those seldom show respect for the wage earner and provider. Children often take what they have for granted, and unfortunately, so do some adults whose thoughts remain childish.

I see many times when women and men who are prosperous "Housewives of Generous County"  (or house-husbands) and their attitudes.  They are what they are because of others. Oftentimes they just take for granted what they have, not realizing Americans just cannot assume prosperity will always be! God has the grace to provide and the jurisprudence to take away! When people fail to be thankful to God, and to the family provider, he may do  a little test. Is this person truly appreciative for what they have? Ungrateful people may run an obstacle course for awhile to put their priorities in line!

The refrain of Count Your Blessings goes like this:
"Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done."
Have you counted your blessings today? Last week? Ever?

Some of my blessings are:

  • My health
  • Income
  • Home
  • Clothing
  • Nourishment
  • Church 
  • Friends
  • Siblings
  • Children
  • My wife
  • Happiness (content)
  • God 
  • Hope
These are major categories in no particular order, but within each of these blessings are sub-categories in the thousands. My main blessing is God, and he is the author of all my other blessings! I refuse to take any of these blessings for granted because they may be "gone with the wind", in the words of Margaret Mitchell.

Job 1:21 "And said, Naked came I (Job) out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

This expression is often applied to us as "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away"! We were born without and will die the same way. What we have in between are all gifts of God. All our possessions whether physical, spiritual or mental are gifts from God. If you don't like what you have, be still; God can inflict malady on your mind such that your likes are of no consequence. If you don't enjoy your family, be still; God can take away one of them. If you don't enjoy your family budget; be still. God can take his money he has given to you and give it to others! You don't appreciate your spouse, be still; God can take that person away!

I show love to the Lord because he is the divine entrepreneur who provides it all! Yes, we are God's investment. He provides for us so that he can gain! There are merely two reasons God invests in each of our lives: respect and love! If he sees that he's made a poor investment, there is little ROI, then he ceases to provide. 

Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
God supplies. He gives to us from his riches! He's speaking of more than material things, because his gift is through Jesus. As Job found out, there is a correlation between God's grace and our devotion to him. Job credited God with all that he had and understood that God is just in taking it away. God didn't take way to punish Job, but as a test of faith. Job passed the test and regained most of what he had. Somethings, such as loss of children and the wife, can  never be regained, but God was faithful.

Job provided well for his family. He was industrious and became quite wealthy. In his tests, some abandoned him, the man who was their provider. Job was symbolic of God: as friends and family went, God remained there. With God, as people fail to love and respect him, God remains faithful. However, God should never be taken for granted. What he provides can be taken away. What Job once had was taken away and if he can do that to test faithful Job, just think what he can do to the unfaithful!

"What shall I do?" I ask myself. "What shall I do?" ask yourself! "Count your blessings" is the answer. Love and respect God. Love and respect your provider. Love and respect those who love you. "Count your many blessings; name them one by one"! Then respond with charity and love for those blessings. Love others as God loves you!

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