Count Your Blessings Name them One by ONE

One of my favorite hymns to sing is Count Your Blessings. It was written by a man named Johnson Oatman Jr. Mr. Oatman grew up in New Jersey singing hymns with his father. His father had a big, beautiful singing voice. However, Mr. Oatman was not quite a blessed with the same gift. He did grow up to be a bi-vocational minister, but never actually had his own congregation. He Johnson wrote Count Your Blessings when he was 36 in 1897. All in all he wrote over 5,000 hymns including “Higher Ground” and another one of my favorites, “No, Not One.”

Let’s look at the words to Count Your Blessings.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your 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.

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.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
So not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

I like to look at the writer’s life when studying these hymns. Many songwriters wrote from a place of struggle and heartbreak. Obviously, compared to some, we can see that Mr. Oatman’s life was one of that was blessed with a Godly father figure. He answered a call to ministry and was faithful to use the gifts God had given him.

What I think is telling is verse 3.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Perhaps Mr. Oatman knew the disappointment of unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Perhaps he had set his eyes on those around him and found himself and his life lacking. We’ve all been there.
Especially in our homeschool world. We can be pretty tough on ourselves and each other.

Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful for the piles of laundry, the student is struggling to learn or the wayward child…but, the Bible does tell us that we can bring our troubles to the God of all comfort and compassion (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). And I think God what means is the seemingly trivial things, as well.

When I was a little girl, I can remember the old-fashioned testimony services. We still practice “testifying” in our church, but those services of old seem to be a touch point in my life. I can remember sweet saints standing and in quavering voices giving thanks for God’s faithfulness and His goodness.

No matter if there wasn’t enough in the cupboard to eat. No matter if they had experienced tragedy in their lives. No matter if life seemed to have beaten them down. They knew. They understood. God’s promises are true. He has a place prepared for us. He will be with us. We can rest in Him.

I have made it a habit over the years to go to bed with one good thing on my mind. I have practiced thinking over my day and choosing at least one blessing give Thanks for.

Some days have been easier than others. There have been those days when all I could cry out was “Thank You for loving me. Thank you for preparing for me a place with You.”

I encourage you as we enter these final days of our Thanksgiving season to find something every single day to testify about. Write it down. Tell your kids. Testify of His goodness and love.

Count those blessings! God has done good things, indeed!

Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining

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