Saturday, February 27, 2016

February 27, 2016: Count Your Blessings

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 58 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Guy Penrod singing the old hymn Count Your Blessings… Helping us to remember God’s blessings in the face of life’s challenges.

Highlight Passage:  Job 38:4 [NKJV] …
[GOD to Job] Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? … 
… Job begins to see the perspective on his life from GOD’S viewpoint.
Highlight Context – Job, Chapters 37-40 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… God helps Job remember what is really important.

Reference Passage #1 - 1st Kings 19:1-4 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Elijah forgets how God worked miracles in his life in the face of fatigue and Jezebel’s pursuit.

Reference Passage #2 - Isaiah 6:1-5 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Isaiah, even getting a vision of heaven, can only see how unclean he was.

Reference Passage #3 - Luke 5:4-8 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus performs a miracle of the fish catch; and all Peter can see is how much of a sinner he is.

Reference Passage #4 - 2nd Corinthians 12: 1-9 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… How quickly Paul forgot his vision of glory in the face of the thorn Jesus allowed Satan to bring into his life.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Julie Ackerman Link, related a personal story to illustrate a very human tendency we all likely exhibit at times. She wrote: When I clean my house for a special event, I become discouraged because I think that guests won’t notice what I clean, only what I don't clean. This brings to mind a larger philosophical and spiritual question: Why do humans more quickly see what's wrong than what's right? We are more likely to remember rudeness than kindness. Crimes seem to receive more attention than acts of generosity. And disasters grab our attention more quickly than the profound beauty all around us. 

It’s true, isn’t it? Have you noticed in the news (papers or TV), how the headlines are usually always negative, maybe even horrible, events? And in the face of great challenges in life, how easy is it for us to forget the many blessings God may have showered on us in our past.

 Job was the classical biblical example of this, wasn’t he? Oh, yes, when Satan was allow by God to visit Job with a series of horrible challenges, Job did exhibit great faith; but as time unfolded, we see that Job faith began to unravel; and he began to challenge God with the very natural “WHY” questions. And finally, God gave Job a series of faith-building questions and Job was able to see that God was in control - in spite of all of his pain and anguish (see Job, Chapters 37-40).

 But Job wasn’t the only example in scripture of our human tendency to focus on the negative and forget the positive. And in the reference passages linked above, we see Elijah so quickly forgetting how God brought down fire on his enemies, as he desired to die after being pursued by Jezebel. … And we see Elijah, seeing only how unclean he was, in the face of God allowing the Prophet to see heaven. … And there was Peter who immediately focused on his own sinfulness when Jesus called him to be a disciple. … And finally, Paul, having been given a glimpse of glory, fell victim to a “thorn” and finally needed encouragement from Jesus Himself to lift his spirits. All of these episodes are linked above for your reading.

 But the question from today’s ODB is … can we do what Guy Penrod sings in the linked song today, … i.e., count our blessings in the face of life’s trials? Or do we focus so much on the negatives of life, we can’t see or remember God’s blessings?

 Take a few moments here and write down the three most significant blessings God has wrought in your life; and then see if any current challenges don’t pale by comparison.

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … Oh, my Lord, You have so blessed my life !!! … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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