COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856–1922
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
For the Christian, gratitude should be a life attitude.
“Count Your Blessings” was written by one of the prolific gospel song writers of the past century, a Methodist lay preacher named Johnson Oatman. In addition to his preaching and the writing of more than 5,000 hymn texts, Oatman was also a successful business man, engaged in a shipping business and in his later years as an administrator for a large insurance company in New Jersey.
It is good for each of us periodically to take time to rediscover the simple but profound truths expressed by Mr. Oatman in the four stanzas of this hymn. In the first two verses he develops the thought that counting our blessings serves as an antidote for life’s discouragements and in turn makes for victorious Christian living. The third stanza of this hymn teaches us that counting our blessings can be a means of placing material possessions in proper perspective when compared to the eternal inheritance awaiting believers. Then as we review our individual blessings, we certainly would have to agree with Mr. Oatman’s fourth verse: The provision of God’s help and comfort to the end of our earthly pilgrimage is one of our choicest blessings.
Each of us could spare ourselves much despair and inner tension if we would only learn to apply the practical teaching of this hymn to our daily living.
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.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings—ev’ry doubt will fly, and you will be 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, 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.
Chorus: Count your blessings—name them one by one; count your blessings—see what God hath done.
For Today: Psalm 28:7; 68:19; 69:30, 31; James 1:17
Make a list of God’s blessings. Share this list with your friends and family.
Osbeck, K. W.
- The Lord is my strength and my shield: mine heart trusted in him, and I was helped: therefore mine heart shall rejoice, and with my song will I praise him. Psalm 28:7
- Praised be the Lord, even the God of our salvation, which ladeth us daily with benefits. Selah. Psalm 68:19
- I will praise the Name of God with a song, and magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than a young bullock that hath horns and hoofs. Psalm 69:30-31
- Every good giving and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17