When I was a boy, I learned a song in Sunday school that has stayed with me my entire life. I'm sure you could sing it along with me:
"When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
Throughout my own Christian life, I have endeavored to practice what this song is about…and to varying degrees of success teach it to my children as well!
I know there are days when it doesn't feel like you are blessed. But take heart, my friend, because God's Word teaches that we are indeed blessed in more ways than we could ever think or imagine.
We just tend to get hung up on counting our troubles instead of counting our blessings. Yet put in the proper perspective, our problems — no matter how big they may seem — can even be seen as blessings.
I knew a man years ago who was so thankful for the blessings of God in his life that he turned every problem into a way to affirm God's blessing. When someone told him one time, "Man, you have bad breath!" he said, "Bad breath is better than no breath at all!" He was just glad he was breathing!
This man was a lot like the Apostle Peter, a man who was literally overwhelmed with gratitude for God's blessings. As he began to pen the words of his first epistle, what was the first thing Peter did? He counted his blessings!
In 1 Peter 1:1-12, we see that Peter lists the seven-fold blessings that God lavishes on each one of His children:
• The blessing of God's call and election to salvation (vv. 1-2)
• The blessing of the new birth (v. 3)
• The blessing of the living hope (v. 3)
• The blessing of the inheritance (v. 4)
• The blessing of God's protection and security (v. 5)
• The blessing of suffering for the sake of Christ (vv. 6-9)
• The blessing of grace (vv. 10-12)
While I don't have time to elaborate on each blessing of God, I would like to highlight the first blessing Peter mentions, the blessing of God's sovereign call upon us.
From Ephesians to Romans to Colossians to Galatians to Corinthians, it is clear: Believers in Jesus Christ are God's chosen people! That means He called me, He chose me and He saved me before the earth was ever formed.
What did I do to deserve that incomprehensible blessing? Absolutely nothing! I did nothing to earn or merit such favor from God.
Therefore, pride has no place in our lives. We can take no credit for our salvation…we cannot depend on our good works, our superior intelligence, nor our personal righteousness. All we can offer God is thanksgiving that in His mercy He saved us!
But that is just the first of the seven blessings Peter outlines. So here is my challenge to you today: Take a moment to read 1 Peter 1:1-12 and spend time praising God for each of these seven blessings He has poured into your life.
And when you do, I pray that God will help you see just how small the troubles and problems are in your life in the light of His seven-fold blessings!