Gratitude and the power of counting your blessings

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From the plains of South Africa to the farthest reaches of the globe, in a world that is all too often negative, finding the power of gratitude has never felt more essential. Wrapped within the famed verses of Psalms 103:1-2 is the key – “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me bless His holy name.” A succinct and powerful statement compelling us to bring up our loins of appreciation, counting our blessings with the eyes of gratitude.

It’s all too easy for us to dwell on disheartening moments, letting the setbacks and challenges cast long, dark shadows over our accomplishments. Regrettably, in conversations about the year gone by, we tend to linger on the negative experiences, the disappointments, the rocky trails that threatened to derail us. If this pattern resonates with you, it’s time for a renaissance of thought, a transition from negativity to gratitude. 

The beauty of gratitude is not selective; it doesn’t discriminate between moments of triumph and moments of despair. It encourages us to view the entirety of our lived experience under the unfaltering light of appreciation. Regardless of the adversities you’ve faced this year, seal yourself away from distractions for a while, ponder over the procession of your life. You might be pleasantly surprised by the tally of God’s goodness towards you. As Alice Morse Earle remarked, “Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

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The philosophy of gratitude is profoundly transformative, ushering you into a realm of fulfillment and happiness. It gently reminds us that even in our worst days, we lead lives that others might view as their best. The small annoyances that often cloud our perspective evaporate in the face of this acknowledgment. Gratitude is the balm that soothes the stringent dichotomies of our existence, shrinking our tribulations, and magnifying our blessings.  

Thereby, let us cultivate a habit of consciously acknowledging God’s sky of blessings spread out over us, and sing along with gratitude’s sacrosanct song. To quote the lyrics of an old hymn which emphasizes the often-underestimated significance of gratitude, “Count your blessings, name them one by one…And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

In this dance between gratitude and blessings, the little miracles that abound in our everyday lives become beacons of hope and joy. The Lord, in his infinite mercy, replenishes our coffers of blessings day after day, a fact the scriptures underscore in Psalm 68:19. It’s incumbent on us to appreciate this ceaseless shower of blessings, wrapping our hearts around the truth of God’s compassionate nature.

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As we stand on the cusp of a new year, let this practice of gratitude reframe our personal narratives. Let every ripple of change in our lives—the ones that buoy our spirits and the ones that challenge us—serve to deepen our relationship with gratitude. Navigate through the atlas of your life experiences, consciously counting blessings, and in doing so, pave the path for further miracles. 

To embody this spirit of gratitude, here’s a prayer that can serve as a lighthouse guiding us through the storms of despair and leading us towards the shores of contentment:

“Dear Father, I consciously acknowledge Your daily blessings in my life. From today, my thoughts will not linger on what I do not have, or what I did not accomplish. Instead, my focus will capture Your daily blessings (seen and unseen) upon my life. I now and always bring a hymn of praise to You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”


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