It is that time of year again when many families will join together for a time of celebration. Hopefully, someone at each gathering will encourage the need for gratitude. Truly, a grateful heart should be maintained year-round by Christians. Indeed, it is we who live in the blessedness of knowing God that can truly lead the way for others in counting our blessings.
The first five verses of Psalm 103 contain the words of a man who has caused his soul to think of the goodness and faithfulness of his God. These words of David are not polluted by selfishness. Keep reading to learn how the sweet psalmist of Israel is encouraging you to just keep counting your blessings.
With a thankful heart, the psalmist praised God for His holiness.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!” This is where every soul must start. Before you can thank God for His blessings, you must thank Him for His Being. He is holy!
With a thankful heart, the psalmist listed some of the benefits of knowing God.
“Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, And forget not all His benefits.” One of the many pieces of evidence that humanity is a fallen race is that we are so forgetful. Therefore, the psalmist urges us not to forget all His benefits. Christians should list and consider the personal blessings of God:
- There is the personal blessing of forgiveness; “Who forgives all your iniquities.”
- There is the personal blessing of healing; “Who heals all your diseases.”
- There is the personal blessing of lifting; “Who redeems your life from destruction.”
- There is the personal blessing of coronation; “Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”
- There is the personal blessing of satisfaction; “Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
For too many Americans, Thanksgiving has become no more than a precursor to Christmas. It’s mostly about stuffing our bellies, planning our shopping, and watching some football. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying our blessed lives, we should make thanking God a priority.
With a thankful heart, you should bless the Lord by counting your blessings.
Would you like to know who the most spiritual person is, in this preacher’s opinion? It is not the one who prays and fasts the most. It is not the one who gives the most. It is not the one who is well known for self-control and purity. But it is the one who is always thankful to God, who desires everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness, and has a heart always ready to praise God for it (adapted from William Law, “Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life”).
The best way I know to create a grateful heart is to make your own Thanksgiving for Everything list. I dare you to create your own “Top 100 Blessings For Which I’m Thankful” list. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Many years ago, I heard Christian recording artists The Martins sing “Count Your Blessings.” The chorus of that song reads like this:
“Count your blessings when you’re feeling blue, it’s surprising what a little bit of counting will do, Count ‘em when every thing goes wrong, soon you’ll find yourself singing a song, Count ‘em whether they be big or small, you just might have trouble counting them all, Your problems will simply fade from view if you’ll just start counting your blessings.”
This blessed life involves praising the holiness of God, listing the benefits of God, and actually counting your blessings. If your thankfulness is genuine you too can exclaim, “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul!”