Sunday, February 19, 2006

Delight in His Presence

Count Your Blessings
Surely you have granted him eternal blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
Psalm 21:6
Count your blessings is a popular phrase I've never related well to. The moment I try to list all God has done for me, I realize how woefully short my efforts fall. I can thank Him for my salvation, for the blessings of home, relationships, work, and ministry. But I know His grace extends far beyond that. Even if I spent a week, I could hardly cover everything adequately. And when I come to the end, all I'd have would be a mechanical list - the exercise itself would take the delight out of my praise.
Yet even joy-filled David didn't attempt to cram all God's wonders in a single hymn. Though he rejoices throughout Psalm 21, he hardly describes everything God has done for him. The king's adulation rings through much of the psalter - as if he couldn't contain it in one place or time. But his masterful adoration is more than a list of thank-yous. David knew a secret of thanks it took me awhile to uncover: Real thanks are tied to the nature of God. Here David offers gratitude to his Lord for specific blessings in verses 1-6 and ends describing God's eternal gifts. All the psalmist's joy cannot be separated from his Master's presence. Without God, the king understands, even the richest gain would be empty. To know Him deeply is the greatest blessing of all, and intimate knowledge comes with a lifetime of loving Him.
So instead of detailing every benefit God provides, like David I'll thank Him for a few big ones today and spend time basking in His love.
As I look closely into my Lord's face, I can't help but delight in His presence.
From Daily Wisdom to Satisfy the Soul, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.

PSALM 21:1-7 (NLT)
How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
He shouts with joy because of your victory.
For you have given him his heart's desire;
you have held back nothing that he requested.
You welcomed him back with success and prosperity.
You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
He asked you to preserve his life,
and you have granted his request.
The days of his life stretch on forever.
Your victory brings him great honor,
and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.
You have endowed him with eternal blessings.
You have given him the joy of being in your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord.
The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.


Jaded&Opinionated said...

I think the whole point of counting your blessings is the fact that they're too numerous to actually count. Once you realize that, no problem or set back seems like such a big deal. That way, you don't dwell on what you don't have because the list of blessings is greater than you realize.

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

It doesn't say to rejoice only when it's a good day, or if the weather is perfect. We are to rejoice that the Lord has been generous enough to give us another day. I think it's important to give thanks for specific things that are important, like health, family, church etc. But it's also important just to give thanks for each and every day we are given, because He wants us to rejoice and be happy every day.

Just my opinion.

Anna said...

Dear Christine -

For me, counting my blessings is having a grateful heart for all the little things which bear the imprint of God's hand. We most often acknowledge the "biggies," but how many of us are thankful for all the small stuff - a parking space close to our destination, someone holding the door when we're lugging heavy grocery bags or laundry, etc.?

Today I was thankful for the Lord providing some company at dinner in the hospital cafeteria. I was uplifted and encouraged when I went back to my husband's bedside.