Count Your Blessings By Scarlett Stough

Adapted from a presentation given at the Seventh Annual Christian Women’s Retreat.

If we want inner peace, we need to prepare our hearts by learning to be grateful as a constant state of mind, not just an occasional recognition of a special gift or happy circumstance. The phrase "…and be thankful" found in Colossians 3:15, is translated from the Greek word eucharistos which stresses an attitude of mind, not just the act of saying "Thank you."

If we want to "let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15)" we need to train our perspective to being one of gratitude whatever our circumstances. We can train ourselves to turn our thoughts to all the blessings God has given us. Whatever is good in our life, God made it possible. Whatever is evil in our lives, God is able to get us through it and often remove it from us.

Corrie ten Boom related how her sister Betsie was able to see God's blessings even in a concentration camp during WWII. (Women of Faith: Corrie ten Boom by Kathleen White, copyright 1983, Bethany House Publishers, pgs. 76-77.)

The Bible gives us an example of a man taken captive as a teenager, who rose to be an official in his captor's government due to God's power, who was able to give thanks in distressing circumstances. He continued to praise and thank God even when it was made a crime with the penalty of death to do so:

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
Daniel 6:10

The book of Daniel is worth reading to see the endurance of faith and its reward. Another prophet also praised God while enduring difficult times:

I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength…..
Habakkuk 3:16-19

These men and Betsie and other godly men and women have learned how to give thanks "in everything (Philippians 4:6.)" God has promised us "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding" when we put our trust in him. When we put our trust in him, our response will be to "count our blessings."

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:3-4

Volume 14 Issue 01 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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