If you grew up going to church, you probably remember the old hymn “Count You Blessing.” If it were a Sunday night service, there would often be contests around which group of people could sing it the loudest!
The song leader would shout, “The left side of the aisle first!” And a boisterous “Count your blessings” chorus would burst forth. “Now the right!” and the folks seated in the pews on the right side of the aisle tried to sing even louder. “Now the women!” and a beautiful “Count your blessing” round would be heard. Then it was the men’s turn; those always sounded off-key and weak in my church.
Of course, we’d change it up and sing, “Count your blessing. Name then ton by ton.” Often, the song director would stop the song and ask if anyone had been blessed that week. This was a safe call because two or three always had the same testimony, which was good. It broke the ice for others to stand up – the scary part – and tell the congregation about something God had done for them that was poignant, personal, and powerful.
I miss those times. I’m not against 7-11 worship – seven words repeated eleven times – but many of those old hymns taught people how to live a Christian life. “Count Your Blessings” is one of those. Consider the first verse.
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,by Johnson Oatman
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of “The Deadliest Catch1,” you’ve seen the dangers of a raging sea. Of course, Christ’s Apostles had a first-hand experience of raging sea2. Jesus never held back the truth that in this world, “you will have many trials and sorrows.” Here’s the whole verse:
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 NLT – I have told you all this so that you – Bible Gateway
I like to tie this verse to Matthew 18:7, in Young’s Literal Translation.
Wo to the world from the stumbling-blocks! for there is a necessity for the stumbling-blocks to come, but wo to that man through whom the stumbling-block doth come!Matthew 18:7 YLT – `Wo to the world from the – Bible Gateway
Like Water Off of a Duck’s Back
Notice that Jesus said, “For there is a necessity for the stumbling-blocks to come.” God never wastes anything, and all things a subject to God. These stumbling blocks come from the world, and those worldly people will be judged for their wicked actions. Nevertheless, there are reasons that God allows the world to rage against us. There are reasons we are “tempest-tossed.”
In our times of trouble, depression often tries to enter our homes – our lives – but Jesus gave us a promise. He said, “Take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We must not repeat what the Apostle Peter did and look at the raging sea; we must drawn deeper into Jesus, our Master and Savior, for it is in Him that our peace and joy can be found. In Jesus, fear and worry roll off of us like water off a duck’s back.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
The key that Jesus has given us to overcome life’s problems is to seek our strength from Jesus, not from our abilities, social connections, or any other worldly thing. This hymn reinforces this key to victory.
So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
I pray that no matter the burden you carry, you will find your rest and strength in Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
* No part of this article was produced by artificial intelligence (AI). **