Remembering God’s Blessings

MP900409495[1] Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Johnson Oatman Jr. wrote those words. He was probably hoping that even in the most difficult times and darkest hours we would look to God, and find strength in remembering all that God has done.

I think he is right, at least in theory. The problem is that remembering our blessings and then counting them is easier said than done. One thing psychologists have discovered about memory is that we we not only remember what happened to us, but also how we felt at that moment. So when we want to recall an event, we will be more successful if we are feeling like we did when that event first happened.MP900386362[1]

That tells me I will have the best chance of remembering God’s blessings, if I feel  like I did when I was being blessed. I usually feel happy when blessed. So I will be most likely to remember God’s blessings when I’m happy.

But the songwriter is telling us that it’s when we are most burdened and beaten down that we need to turn our attention to God. But that’s when we will be least likely to recall those blessed times. So what are we supposed to do?

Maybe redirecting our attention would be a good place to start. Instead of feeding our anxiety and focusing only on the problems pressing in on us, we could nurture more positive and hopeful emotions. That might mean turning to Scripture for some inspiration, or just looking around at the wonder of God’s creation.

Even simple things like that can break the cycle of worry, and begin to carve out some room for joy. Once we open the door to a little bit of happiness, then all the memories related to our happiness can come flooding back in! At that point we will be ready to count our blessings, and praise God from whom all blessings flow!

MP900386297[1] Next time you are burdened, don’t forget to count your blessings. But before you do, put yourself in a state where you can begin to remember those blessings, and experience joy. Then you will surely remember them one by one!

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  1. I think the problem is that we take our eyes OFF Jesus once they are on Him.

    The Holy Spirit inside us is not concerned with the things in the world. It is when WE take charge and walk in the flesh that the cares of the world burden us.

    Walking in the Spirit, partaking in His fruit is very liberating and unburdensome. Sounds like a good trade to me.

    Blessings to you!

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