‘Count Your Blessings’ is a popularly used phrase, I am sure you have all heard it before. It is said to encourage people to stay thankful when they go through a bad time. But what does staying thankful mean? Yes, it is good to remember what God has blessed us with, but it does not stop there.
We all have our earthly desires, it can be the latest phone, a better car, to be more popular; it can be anything. For me, I wish my family lived in a bigger house with more space. I see all my friends have bigger and better rooms than me and I want to have that. But then I take a moment and remember that God has blessed my family with a house. It may not be what I want, but it’s safe, it has a bed for me at night, and the kitchen always has food for my bottomless pit of a teenage guy’s stomach. It’s a blessing and I am thankful for it. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” No matter what we have or the condition of what we have, let us be thankful for what God has given us.
Now I’m not saying that we should not wish for anything. It is okay to desire for things in this world, but not to the point where we are not thankful for what God has given us. This goes against what Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What we chase after in this world will equate to nothing once God returns. It is okay to hope for things, but remember that we do not need absolutely everything we want.
One final thing I would like to mention is something that I believe is overlooked in regards to thankfulness. It is for intangible things that necessarily don’t apply to us directly, but that involves us in. I live in the USA, as well as many people from TPS do, and we are blessed with all our rights and freedoms. We do not have a dictator who imposes strict laws that endanger us, and I believe we simply take it for granted. Think of the people who sacrificed their safety, their families, time, careers, even lives to keep our nation safe from threats. We shouldn’t simply take that for granted and forget about it. Instead, we must remember to thank God for our nation’s freedom and for the people who protect us and our country. Now I’m sure someone reading this does not live in the United States, don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about you. Some of you live in a country like America and there are freedoms. Thank God for those blessings and the people who have sacrificed to uphold that. But some of you may not live in the same comforts as others; the leader may be one who the country fears, or you are in danger for being a Christian. Thank God for keeping you and your family safe, He’s watching over you and protecting you.
As we quickly enter upon the Thanksgiving holiday and just as quickly put it behind us to get to the Christmas season, let us not forget to be thankful. Let us not just mention what we are thankful for before carving into the turkey, but stop and take time to pray to God for what He has blessed us with. Psalm 106:1 “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His loving kindness is everlasting.”
William Pledger (16) is on staff at TPS Chapel and Changing Lives Ministry and is a sophomore at The Potter's School.