“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, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” - Ephesians 1:3-4 NASB
It was a home filled with hymns. Johnson Oatman, Jr., grew up listening to his father, who loved to sing. Johnson must have listened carefully, for he discovered how music could express emotions as well as deep theological truths.
Born in New Jersey in 1856, he became a successful businessman and an ordained minister. But he would be remembered primarily as one of the important Gospel songwriters of his time, the author of the text to more than 5,000 hymns.
His words came from his heart, as was clear from one of his most important hymns, “Count Your Blessings”. He spoke of many personal struggles and challenges, describing times of being “tempest tossed,” “discouraged,” and “thinking all is lost.”
Yet, in those dark moments, Oatman found the answer in gratitude to God: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” He knew that Believers could feel “burdened with a load of care.” At those times, he wrote, as you “count your many blessings,” you will find that “every doubt will fly.” Instead of being depressed or discouraged, “you will keep singing as the days go by.”
As we think about God’s Word, Oatman realized that we would realize that He has promised “His wealth untold.” No matter what we face in life, we must “not be disheartened,” but remember that “God is over all.”
Today, stop for a moment to count your blessings. Put aside questions and problems. Start naming His blessings one by one. Thank Him for what He already has done! As you do this, God will change your heart and give you a new attitude and perspective.
PrayerFather, thank You for these blessings: ________________. I praise You and worship You. I am so grateful for all You have done for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingEphesians 1