It’s an old song, a very good old song:
“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done.”
This song has special meaning to me. After my grandmother’s death, my aunt sent me a copy of the song, one photocopied from an old hymnal. On it was a note: “This song was one of your MaMac’s favorites.”
While she suffered from failing health, both physically and mentally, the latter years of my grandmother’s life testified to the powerful effects of choosing to count your blessings and view life with a thankful heart.
In the past few months I began practicing the challenge of the song with greater intentionality. I needed to, for I found myself growing (unjustifiably!) negative. To this day, I’m not even sure why. I just finally realized that something had to change.
The benefits have been beyond anything I could have imagined. I believe it will be that way for you too.
Stop for a minute and ask yourself:
What thoughts are filling your mind?
Have you become numb to or flippant about the blessings that fill your life?
Like what happened to me, have negative thoughts become the default channel of your mind?
Wherever you are, I believe a simple change in your thinking can yield incredible results.
A new way of thinking.
Early in this journey, the Lord put a phrase in my mind: I want you to think:
“I get to”
“I have to”
It was a small adjustment that’s recalibrating my thinking in incredible ways. Things I considered burdens I now see as the blessings that they truly are! In fact, I’ve yet to find an area of life where it doesn’t apply.
You can start small:
I have to work.
I have to cook dinner.
I have to call this person.
These can, instead, be viewed through the lens of:
I get to work.
I get to cook dinner.
I get to have a conversation with this person.
Even in our difficult places, in our greatest needs, we get to see the provision of God. We get to experience God — and even the anticipation of it is a blessing beyond measure.
A spiritual principle with supernatural power goes to work.
The counting of blessings is a simple switch in the way you see life. It’s choosing, often one thought at a time, to think one way instead of another. Anyone can do it. Every person would benefit from it. But when a child of God does it, a spiritual principle is invoked; a supernatural power goes to work.
The spiritual principle is stated in Romans 12:2:
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
I love the way the New Living Translation puts it:
“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
God is the one who transforms you. True and lasting spiritual change (the deepest form of change we can undergo) is God’s work. God created you. He saved you, and He’s also the one who completes the good work He began in you (Philippians 1:6).
God longs to transform you into a new person. He wants your soul (how you think, feel and act) to be entirely influenced by His Spirit whom He put in you. (That’s freedom!) He wants you to live like Jesus did as you think and feel just like Jesus does.
This transformation happens as you change the way you think. In part, God does this too. As you let Him, He (literally) rewires your brain, untangling the negative, lie-based thought patterns and forming pathways of truth-based thinking. But you have a role to play. You choose what you think. Even better, let’s use our new framework: you get to choose what you think!
You get to choose what you think.
I’d love for you to sit in this fact for a few minutes:
You have a choice as to what you think.
When you think truth-based thoughts, you open the door for God to transform your mind — to give you a new mind that thinks and believes like He does. Such a mind is filled with and delighted by truth. It’s a mind that produces emotions based on truth. The result is a life full of joy and kept in peace.
The battle for our minds is real. Some old mindsets take time and prayer to overcome. But a lot of the time, a simple adjustment in our thinking is all that’s needed. For me, the change from “I have to” to “I get to” has been huge.
What do you need to do? Your role in changing your thinking starts with simply thinking different thoughts.
Could you start thinking of all you have versus all the lack you’ve allowed yourself to dwell on?
Maybe you should think more about who God is rather than your circumstances or what you perceive He hasn’t done.
You’ll be amazed at the results.
And maybe like me, you’ll experience the mighty power of God by simply counting your blessings and viewing all things through the lens of “I get to” versus “I have to.” I’ve been amazed — dumbfounded — by the peace and joy I’ve experienced from the small effort I put in. It will be this way for you too.
Some other posts I hope will encourage you: