Count Your Blessings



Tis the season of Thankfulness. I love this time of year. Leaves are falling and there is a decided chill in the air. After a long summer and a busy fall, we take a moment to stop and thank God for all the good in our lives. It’s a time count our blessings.

Healthy children, financial provision, family and friends, job stability...

That's the usual list I hear when people give thanks. We thank God for the things in our lives that make us happy and comfortable. We thank him for the things we love most.

But just for a moment I want to draw your attention to Matthew 5: 3-10. 
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
It's a unique list, unlike anything the world has to offer. The word blessed here literally means happy. Happy is the man who mourns. Happy is the man who is merciful. Happy is the man who is persecuted. By the world's standards it doesn't make sense. The world says blessed are those who pursue their own dreams, who follow their hearts, who have fun and laughter. Blessed are those who have good food, nice houses, and new cars. 

But Jesus says, "Blessed are you when you have Christ." 

Look at the scripture again. Where is the blessing? How is it that we posses the kingdom of heaven, recieve comfort, and inherit the earth? How are filled with righteousness, obtain mercy, and see God? How is it that we are given the power to become the children of God? 

In Christ. 

In these verses, Jesus takes everything we thought we knew about blessings and turns them upside down. The old covenant was all about "do good and be blessed." Obey and God will give you children, health, land, provision, and safety. 

But Jesus changed everything. The new covenant can be summed up in two simple words: In Christ. In Christ you find forgiveness of sin. In Christ you know God the Father. In Christ you will be blessed. In Christ you have hope of eternity.

It's not always an easy road to follow. In talking about our salvation, Peter says, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" {1 Peter 1:6-7}

There are times in our lives when we will feel the heaviness of abundant temptations, but even in those troubled times we are still blessed! Our faith is perfected and strengthened through trials, and it's that faith that brings praise, honor, and glory to Christ. The trials in our lives draw us closer to God and cause us to run to the feet of Christ for more grace.  

So this thanksgiving as you stop to count your blessings, I encourage you to give thanks for everything in your life that draws you to Christ, those things that are joyful and those that are difficult to bear, because everything we have that is of any worth is always found...

In Christ. 

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