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Overwhelmed with Thanksgiving

It’s really too bad that “count your blessings” is such a cliché.


It’s the kind of trite advice that is all too easy to give to a sad and struggling person: “Ah, but don’t forget to count your blessings.” Even so, it remains a beneficial activity for every child of God. For it is right that we savor God’s good gifts in all their innumerable forms.


Whether we are young or old, struggling today or flourishing, here is the challenge: to be truly aware of how God has blessed us, and to sincerely thank Him for His goodness and grace.


Some of His gifts are notable, and many will appear minuscule. But Charles Spurgeon’s counsel is wise: “Let us daily praise God for common mercies—common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless that when deprived of them we are ready to perish.”[1]


To borrow a phrase from the contemporary gratitude gurus, it is fitting that God’s people undertake a Daily Gratitude Inventory. What have I received?


Any account of God’s gifts will range widely. It will encompass everything from material objects like my reliable car,


to relational blessings like my marriage,


to emotional and spiritual endowments like positivity and perseverance,


to opportunities for meaningful work and refreshing rest,


to the greatest privileges that are ours through union with Christ.

The number and diversity of the Father’s gifts will be astonishing.

God’s vast blessings will always exceed our best efforts to count or quantify. There can be no tidy system of taking a gift inventory. Instead, we are overwhelmed by the magnitude of God’s blessings.


Even so, we should take stock. Such an exercise is a precautionary measure in our daily struggle against ingratitude. It will also impel us to give God the glory and thanks that are His due.


After all, thanksgiving should be the sanctified instinct of the Christian life.


William Law said it well: “Would you know him who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms, but it is he who is always thankful to God, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.”[2]


I am convinced that no child of God can grow in gratitude without regularly recounting His many gifts.


From the seemingly mundane gift of our daily bread, to the obviously miraculous gift of adoption into God’s family, a believer’s life is truly overwhelmed with the bounty of the Lord’s goodness.


With open eyes and a grateful heart, we begin the never-ending task of counting our blessings.


Have you lost count yet?


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[1] Quoted in Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy (Chicago: Moody, 2009), 113.

[2] William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1729), (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 2013), 172.

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