October 3, 2010

Count Your Many Blessings – Ray Anderson

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by kdkelly

Have you ever considered all the blessings you have in your life? Sometimes we tend to focus on the things we don’t have rather that the things we do. Some of the blessings we have are physical and some are spiritual. Often we have difficulty realizing that and recognizing what those blessings are. However, we can be sure of this, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

Trials and Temptations

There are times when everything seems to be going wrong. Sometimes the question pops into your head, “Why me?” James has written for us, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

“Temptations” is sometimes translated “trials” and that seems to be the idea the writer has in mind here. Have you ever heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger?” The temptations or trials we face will often make us stronger. James has this in mind when he wrote that trying your faith works patience. If we face our trials with patience, it will make us complete. Once we have faced down a particular trial, we need not fear that trial again. What a blessing it is to have the Bible to turn to for guidance such as this.

There are several passages that are worth noting when considering how to overcome the trials in our lives. Consider this: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12 ) As we approach our trials, we must consider what “seems” the right approach to us, may not be the thing to do. Also consider what Jeremiah wrote: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23 KJV)

If we can’t direct ourselves, where can we turn? The key can be found in Psalms 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path.” We need to search diligently for the solution to our problems in God’s word. We need to have the confidence that God will see us through. Paul writing to the Corinthians said, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13). What a blessing this is!

The World We Live In

In the beginning God created the world and it was very good: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) The world then was not the world we live in. Then it was beautiful and all of man’s needs were met. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:29-30)

However, the world did not stay that way because of man’s sin. Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden and thereafter worked for their food and to bring others into the world. (Genesis 3:16-19) Man continued to sin until God saw that the thoughts of man were evil continuously. (Genesis 6:5) God destroyed the world by water and only eight souls survived. (Genesis 8:15). The world changed dramatically to be the world we live in today. We have evidence of this in the rainbow we see in the sky (Genesis 9:13). And what a beautiful world it is! Just watch God’s creation as the seasons change, as the sun rises and sets, when we watch the birds soaring through the sky. I’m sure you can think of many other things to describe the beauty of our world. We live in a wonderful country and we should not forget what a blessing that is.

The Church

The church is a blessing to us in several ways. As we gather together to worship, we draw strength from one another. (Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 10:25) We have many examples of how we bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2) It can be readily seen that we follow God’s command to love one another(John 13:34), to love him with our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37), and to do good for one another as we have opportunity. (Galatians 6:10). What a blessing it is to be a child of God in the church and to have each other.

Salvation

Salvation is the greatest blessing of all. It gives us the hope of a heavenly home and eternal life. (Ephesians 2:8-10) This blessing did not come without a price and what a price it was. Jesus went to the cross for our sins so that we could be reconciled unto God. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:6-10)

So, count your many blessings, name them one by one. God has done great things and will continue to bless us if we remain faithful to him. Rejoice in the Lord. Amen

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