One morning R. C. Chapman, the 19th century British evangelist, was asked how he was feeling. “I’m burdened this morning!” was his reply.
But his happy countenance contradicted his words. So the questioner exclaimed in surprise, “Are you really burdened, Mr. Chapman?”
“Yes, but it’s a wonderful burden—it’s an overabundance of blessings for which I cannot find enough time or words to express my gratitude!”
Seeing the puzzled look on the face of his friend, Chapman added with a smile, “I am referring to Psalm 68:19, which fully describes my condition. In that verse the Father in heaven reminds us that He ‘daily loads us with benefits.’
Our word of the week is “blessed.”
The word literally means “to speak well of.” When used in reference to God it has to do with praising Him. Celebrating His greatness. Acknowledging His goodness. However it is also used “to invoke blessings upon a person.” Jesus said we should, “Bless those who persecute you.”
God, the giver of good gifts, has blessed us all in so many ways. He blesses the unjust, as well as the just. Jesus taught with sunshine and rain. Material prosperity. Physical blessings. Earthly benefits. We all enjoy these blessings at the hand of our bountiful Creator.
But Christians are blessed in a special sense. We are the “spiritual seed” of Abraham. Paul penned, “those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” (Gal. 3:9).Our spiritual blessedness comes from our relationship with Jesus. Peter proclaimed, “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities. (Acts 3:26).
When we live in the world as Christ desires we live, we enjoy blessings. “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Pet 3:9)
Our blessing signifies God’s favor. His approval. His commendation. And as a result we become the privileged recipients of God’s grace. So Paul would confidently write, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3)
There’s a classic hymn written by Johnson Oatman Jr, “Count Your Many Blessings,” that reminds us during difficult days to remember how much we’ve been blessed.
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.
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
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Yes, we are blessed! We enjoy…
Adoption as God’s children.
Belonging to a great Cause.
Citizenship in the Kingdom.
Comfort in our afflictions.
Forgiveness of sins.
Freedom from guilt.
Fellowship with a church Family
Privilege of prayer.
Purpose for living.
Peace of mind.
Joy of salvation.
Hope of heaven.
Indeed, God “daily loads us with benefits.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman