James 1:2-4 (ESV): “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
The world we live in is filled with chaos. More often than not, we forget to count the blessings that are piling up in our lives and lament what we do not have. This can clutter up our relationship with God.
The only way to get out of this vicious circle of complaining and feeling disappointed is to shift your perspective and be grateful for the things you have in life.
Focus on how fortunate you are and count your blessings one by one, even in difficult times.
Is that easy? Not at all. Is it possible? Absolutely yes.
One of my favorite Christian hymns is “Count your blessings” by Johnson Oatman.
‘‘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.’’
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12 ESV)
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How to Focus on the Blessings When Life Gets Crazy
So how can we count our blessings even when life is hard?
Here are a few actionable steps that will help you remain steadfast and be grateful even during trials and tribulations in life.
1. Acknowledge Your Worries
Trying to forget the worries and anxieties in our lives will only make them more profound and obvious. Acknowledge the problems in your life instead of suppressing them.
Acknowledging is the first step to understanding the problem and only if we understand the problem can we effectively solve the problem. The key is to overpower our worrisome thoughts with the blessings God has showered upon us.
Gratitude journaling has always helped me stay grounded and walk closer with God. It is an incredible way to remember God’s amazing work in our lives. Writing down the things you’re grateful for will undoubtedly boost positive emotions and enhance our overall wellbeing. Read your gratitude list every day, right after you wake up and go to bed.
When life is hard, I always turn to the Bible for inspiring and comforting verses. Reflecting on God’s word always helps me persevere in faith and be grateful for the great work the Lord has done in my life.
To meditate on Scripture, select a verse and write it down on a piece of paper. Read it several times, try to understand each word, and think deeply about what the verse conveys. Ask yourself questions like:
- What does the passage teach about God?
- What does the passage teach about me?
- How should I apply the passage to my life?
In the Book of Philippians, Paul advises us to turn to God in difficult times and not be anxious about anything: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Praying is not a passive activity. It is our communication with God. It requires our primary attention and honesty. When life feels impossible, pray to God for guidance and strength. Count your blessings and worship Him through prayer and music.
Prayer is essential to truly walk with God, which is why it is important to set aside a specific time to pray in your daily routine.
5. Give Thanks
David urges us to give thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love in Psalm 107:1. Practicing gratitude is a mindset worth cultivating.
God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten son for us to have eternal life. Words are not enough to give thanks to our Father for His unconditional love.
His blessings are so abundant that we tend to take some things for granted. For instance, a good night’s sleep is a blessing and the ability to breathe is a blessing. But we forget to give thanks for blessings that we can find in everyday life.
Think of all the blessings in your life and thank God for each one of them. Even when life is hard, cultivate a thankful heart toward God and everyone who has offered you help.
6. Trust God
To trust in the Lord with all your heart, you need to believe that our Father has a plan for each and every one of us.
We live in a world where trust is mostly associated with disappointment and frustration. This is because trust is difficult to build but is very easy to break.
Our beloved Father is the only being whom we can trust more than we trust ourselves. Allow Him to take full control of your life and surrender your desires and thoughts before Him.
In the book of Proverbs, King Solomon says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
Questions for Reflection
- When you think of the word ‘blessing’, what comes to your mind?
- What does it mean to bless someone?
- How has God blessed you in your life?
- Do you thank Him every day for His blessings?
- If you make a gratitude list, how long would it be?
A Prayer of Thankfulness
Heavenly Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, forgive me for not counting the blessings in my life. Thank You for guiding me through the trials and temptations I endure.
Thank You for helping me get through the most difficult phases of my life. Thank You for the strength you give me each day, for Your steadfast love, and the incredible sacrifice and wonderful grace you have given to me.
Help me set my eyes on you and follow your path, Lord. Help me to remember to count my blessings every day. I will praise Your name forever! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Apryl is a Jesus lover and He has given her a love for helping others manage their money. She shares everything about faith and finance on her blog Money Wise Steward.