Count your blessings: name them one by one

As part of counting my blessings, I want to appreciate God for Lumiere de Dieu. Every day he expands this vision and helps me get along with it perfectly.

I am grateful Abba!

“Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for his good and his mercies endure forever!”

Thanksgiving is the act of giving thanks (word to word meaning). Now I’d like to add that it is the act of giving sincere and detailed thanks in utter appreciation of God’s goodness. Is thanksgiving only done when we are joyful? No, but it is necessary to give thanks in all things and at all times.

One misconception I have found out a lot of Christians have is that Thanksgiving can be generalized in a few words because after all, God understands. We sing hymns on counting our blessings and naming them one by one yet we elude the fact that just as our prayer requests are detailed, our show of appreciation should follow like pattern. The reasons why the Blessings are to be counted and named one after the other starts from the background of the prayer request. True that it is mandatory to give thanks, but giving thanks to God has to flow from a grateful heart not just some prayer routine, quiet time routine or simply for us to say “We thanked God”. God is deserving of our thanks and if we must indeed supply the scripture of asking and receiving each time we want to appeal to him for our needs, it is best we reciprocate the energy when we enter into his gates with thanksgiving.

The Prayer request: “God please give me car, a Volvo, a black Volvo, the 2020 model, and provide shipping fees and spare parts also, Amen”

The Thanksgiving: “Abba father I just want to thank you for all your blessings this year”.

How does that even sound to you?

Polite believers might thank him for a Car but very few would add the specifications to highlight how beautiful his gift of car is to them ─ which brings us to the story of the ten lepers preached over and over again with emphasis on the one who returned to give thanks. Bright light has been shed on that subject matter yet the conclusion of thanksgiving with specification and details hasn’t been made by many believers.

Indeed I was part of the generalizing folk but after a life changing sermon I heard, I sat down to realize that God answers prayers to specifications and it is sheer selfishness or ignorance not to thank him in like manner. The popular hymn “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done” explains it all; in counting the blessing of the Lord intentional not just spreading a duvet over his kindness, you will take into account virtually every good deed and mercy worth giving him praise for.

Back to our example above; compare the statements sincerely and by so doing you will find out why God is probably not so particular about meeting certain specifications on needs in the place of prayer. I am not God but personally if someone ever does this to me, since I know you need a car you won’t thoroughly appreciate me for, I will simply give you whatever I decide to, knowing that in your heart of ingratitude, you might not even thank me for that one.

As believers we will feel unloved if we ask for a 2020 model car and get a 2008 one, forgetting that God has saved us from the stress of public transportation. We won’t even use that car to advance his kingdom as some of us will still be late to church and all kingdom related activities. That is of course in addition to our ingratitude, so why should God bother.

I find it ironic that we quotes scriptures on giving thanks, we formulate rhyming phrases like “be thankful so your tank will be full” and we look upon seeming ungrateful people or the bunch who are fond of complaints no matter the magnitude of what God has done and shake our heads wearing disappointed looks, yet we are guilty of the same offence.

2020 has been a long year. We have people who died in scores from corona virus, and unlike any other year, it seemed this year that in every five families both nuclear and extended, death occurred. It is truly sad, but we cannot be so selfish as to deny God the detailed thanksgiving due him.

In this part of the world, Nigerians perished because of hunger not even the virus. Some died reason being that hospitals were scared to open and they had life threatening conditions. A lot of events have happened yet here we are healthy, well fed, getting mega life changing opportunities, checking out our online shopping carts, scrolling through Instagram and ordering products we don’t even but have the funds to purchase, celebrating birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and child births, enjoying the basic necessities of life, completely unharmed by the hardship the entire world is passing through because of the virus and God still had the time to answer your prayer requests just the way you desired them. Why then dear child of Light, will you refuse to be intentional and detailed in your thanksgiving?

This is not to emotionally blackmail anyone into giving thanks only to offer an understanding as to why your Thanksgiving should include every detail.

Psalms 103:2 says Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all his benefits; Reading down to verse 10 on that same chapter, the Psalmist talks about the goodness of God in that he does not repay us according to our sins. His love is true, kind, steadfast and endures forever. Even when our human thoughts persuade us to believe that God has not done anything new and in your heart it sounds like “yeah yeah, it is still the same gift of life and the regulars ─ same ol same ol”, the pandemic is proof that life is fragile and hence contributes to one of the reasons why we should count our blessings, naming them one by one.

The year is wrapping up pretty soon and as children of God we have our expectations high with our prayer points jotted down in our prayer journals. Please do not let that be all you are going to the presence of God with. Appreciate him with your whole heart, list everything as far as you can remember with the same energy you use to think out the things you need, write down his benefits in detail and thank him profusely for them. Let him feel your gratitude immensely and be glorified. While you do this, pass the message across to your friends so together we can all change our thanksgiving pattern and become delightful sons and daughters of the Kingdom who offer bountiful praise.

The book of Psalms is a great place to start if you want to learn how to offer thanks in a detailed and intentional way. King David would narrate his childhood experiences; times when he was running from Absalom, his battles as a warrior, then thank God for seeing him through it all. He did all these talking in-depth about the saving grace of God at those times. Now that is counting your blessings and naming them one by one!

I truly pray for you that even if you feel God has not been kind enough, you are able to realize that he is alive, able and on his throne so help is on the way.

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May the light of God shine through you

Blessings, Love and Light,

For Lumiere de Dieu

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