Count your many blessings and it will surprise you what the Lord has done

Sometime life’s trials are too difficult to understand. Sometimes life’s troubles are too hard to bare. Sometimes life’s pain is too much to tolerate.

When those times come, look to the LORD…

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The LORD himself watches over you!
The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The LORD keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever. (Psalm 121)

Then count your blessings. Actually count your blessings. Really count your blessings.

Get out paper and pencil and write them down. Don’t stop until you have written at least 100 blessings. Then, wait for the LORD. And, if you can, sing this old song to yourself…

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 has done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has 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—wealth can never buy,
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
—Count Your Blessings (pd) 1897 by Johnson Oatman, Jr

Examples of godly people who praised God in times of adversity

Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The LORD gave me what I had,
and the LORD has taken it away.
Praise the name of the LORD!”
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God. (Job 1:20-22)

I will praise the LORD at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the LORD;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.

Calamity will surely overtake the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the LORD will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. (Psalm 34)

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.

Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD. (Psalm 107)

But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. (Hebrews 11:35-40)

More information about Johnson Oatman

  • Stories Behind the Hymns: Count Your Blessings Author: Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1856­1922)
  • Oatman at­tend­ed Her­bert’s Acad­e­my in Vin­cen­town, New Jer­sey, and the New Jer­sey Col­le­gi­ate In­sti­tute in Bor­den­town. He was or­dained as a Meth­od­ist Epis­co­pal min­is­ter, but his pas­tor­al work was con­fined to lo­cal church­es, as he worked full time in the re­tail and in­sur­ance in­dus­tries. He wrote ly­rics for 5,000 Gos­pel songs. (NetHymnal)
  1. Alone with God
  2. Come, Soul, and Find Thy Rest
  3. Count Your Blessings
  4. Deeper Yet
  5. Every Bridge Is Burned Behind Me
  6. Fire Is Burning, The
  7. Hallelujah Side, The
  8. He Included Me
  9. Higher Ground
  10. Holy, Ho­ly, Is What the Angels Sing
  11. How the Fire Fell
  12. I Know He’s Mine
  13. I Will Follow Thee
  14. I Will Trade the Old Cross for a Crown
  15. Jesus Took My Burden
  16. Last Mile of the Way, The
  17. Lift Him Up
  18. Move Along
  19. No, Not One
  20. Only Once You Pass This Way
  21. Resting in the Arms of Jesus
  22. Send a Wave of Salva­tion Today
  23. Sweeter Than All
  24. Tell It Wherever You Go
  25. When Our Lord Shall Come Again
  26. Worthy the Lamb

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