Consider how quick we are to “write our blessings in the sand, and…engrave our complaints in the marble” (Spurgeon). As I reflect on my upbringing in church, I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have sung the song “Count Your Blessings”. As I recollect those times, the words and tune come to my mind as I hear a room full of believers singing- “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.” This hymn contains truth that could transform our outlook on life if we would learn to practice it every day. We are prone to dwell upon our complaints, our disappointments, our struggles. Yet we are often quick to forget the many blessings that God has given us.
If you ever find yourself stuck in the pit of self-pity, use the shovel of Psalm 103 to dig yourself out. In this Psalm we are given a glimpse into the heart of David as it overflows with blessing to God. This Psalm will refresh the heart of any believer who is struggling with complaining. Let the reminders of God’s greatness turn your heart from self-pity to fervent praise of our Savior. Seven times, David’s heart cries out with “Bless the Lord” or “Bless his holy name”. As we work our way through this Psalm, we see a man who is busy counting his blessings. David does not want to forget all of God’s benefits. And like David, we must not forget the many benefits that God has bestowed upon us. What benefits can I count? Where can we begin? Consider Him “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things…” (vv. 3-5a). Consider Him who “executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed…is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy…hath not dealt with us after our sins…hath..removed our transgressions from us…pitieth them that fear him…” (vv. 6, 8, 10a, 12b, 13b). The blessings of the Lord are abundant! When we allow our minds to dwell upon our present, difficult circumstances, our thoughts are often clouded with depression, discouragement, or self-pity. However, when we allow our minds to dwell upon all that God has done for us in Christ, we can clear the black clouds of discouragement and allow the sunshine of joy to take up residence in our heart.
Take some time today and count your many blessings. You may be surprised at how many you can list. Then sing with David the songs of blessing to our great and gracious God. “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (vv. 1-2).