Monday, August 8, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Count Your Blessings"1 (Lyrics)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)

Hebrews 11:1,6 – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV)

Some time ago, I was discussing the writing of these devotionals with a member of the staff where I am privileged to live. When I mentioned that I was considering doing one about counting our blessings, Ashley, who is always so positively encouraging to me and all the other residents, immediately responded with "I like that!"

But how can we feel blessed when so many things around us make us feel hopeless?

In recent months, we have heard about and experienced the effects of the coronavirus and particularly the debilitating effects on those who suffer from long-term symptoms. The war in Ukraine holds many stories of untold suffering and utter hopelessness. It seems that every day we hear about someone whose health situation is considered hopeless, and it may even be that you feel that that is the case for you.

Probably one of the saddest words in our vocabulary is "hopeless". Without hope, our desire to live, to do — and indeed, to be — disappears.

But if we read again Paul's direction in today's verses from Thessalonians, he gives us clear instructions. Certainly, Paul's personal experiences could have made him feel hopeless. But through all his problems, he learned and directs us to put our faith in Jesus and to rejoice always. "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done" wrote Johnson Oatman Jr. in 1897.

There is always a bright side to every problem. I remember flying under heavy, dark, ominous clouds, when suddenly the plane broke through, and above the clouds, there was bright sunshine everywhere.

Often, it seems that we are almost overcome by dark clouds, and we are tempted to give up. But we must always look for the silver lining in every transaction in life, for God is over all.

However, as set out in today's verses from Hebrews, what will give us true hope for this life and the next is our reconciliation with Jesus. You and I each have to decide where and in Whom we will place our hope.

In 1834, Edward Mote wrote words which I believe that we all can follow.

    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
    On Christ the solid rock I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

Prayer: Dear Father, we are so grateful for Your love as expressed in the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for the Holy Spirit, Who helps us to understand that love through faith. Help us to maintain our hope in You now and each day in the future. Help us to share that faith, hope, and love with others. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Vince.

    Amen, Vincent, and amen again! Blessings.

    Thank you, Vincent, for encouraging us to put our hope in Him.

    Much needed encouragement for many. Thanks, and blessings Vincent!

    Excellent devotional. In times like these we need to be reminded about where hope lies.

    Thank you, Vincent, for your devotional today on trusting God as the only antidote to being hopeless.

    Thank you, Vincent, for writing this devotional. We can never be reminded too much about having hope in Christ.

    Grateful for your sharing your experience, hope and faith with us all today, Vince. Blessings on your work today.

    Thanks for writing Vince. Yes, we need keep strong in our faith as Jesus is our best problem solver in every situation.

    Yes, Our Faith enables us to confront challenges that threaten us. These challenges enable us to grow stronger in our Faith.

    It’s a Monday morning and your devotional gave me another reminder of God’s gift of the most special Hope we have for each new day. Thank you.

    Morning Vincent,
    When I see your name on the list of future devotionals, I know there is something to which I can look forward in your writing. Thank you.

    Dear Vincent,
    Thank you for your continued sharing of the insights with which the Lord blesses you. I thank and praise God for your ministry, which touches so many.

    Certainly a timely message for our times. You seem to be continuing to do well at this stage of aging and I always look forward to your positive postings here on PresbyCan.
    Thank you.

    Dear Vincent
    Many thanks for your inspirational message…. the reminder of how we need to think positively and count our Blessings and how it has helped me. I have shared with a friend, who is struggling with life at the moment.
    God bless you for your great Devotionals!
    Many thanks.

    HI Vince,
    Today’s Devotional really spoke to me. I sometimes print some Devotionals off that I want to read often. Today’s was one of those Devotionals.
    Thanks for all your work in writing them and sharing them with us.
    Blessings always,

    There are many things we can feel HELPLESS about: Covid, the war in Ukraine, cancer and other illnesses, even broken relationships. But we never need to feel HOPELESS, if we believe in our Savior, Jesus Christ, who answers all prayers offered in earnest (even when the answer is “no”). Near where we’ve been staying, we lucked into a wonderful Minister named Hope, and she taught and lived that name all the time. Thank you, Vincent, for your wonderful devotionals, and God bless.

    Good morning, Vince,
    You are far from “hopeless” as you have shown in your devotionals. Therefore, it was an unusual title for one of your devotionals. You don’t have to read long to realize you are really going to talk about “count your blessings” like the hymn that was chosen to go with the devotional.
    First you discuss what we hear on the news each day and then you go on to talk about the HOPE that our faith gives us and the sun that can come shining through.
    May you count your blessings and feel your spirits lift as you inspire others. May you walk with Jesus at your side filling you with hope. Blessings.

    Wonderful words! You have such a gift of framing truth in a few concise sharp words.
    Humanity has a difficulty focusing on the positivity of the glass being half full and miss the blessings contained. Blessings.

    Mr. Walter;
    Thank you for your devotional writing. I always find inspiration in your messages.

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