Counting Each Blessing
Counting blessings promotes good physical health, according to a study by some U.S. doctors. Volunteers, who helped in the study, kept weekly gratitude journals. They reported fewer aches and pains than those who recorded daily hassles or events.
A “gratitude visit” was developed by Dr. Martin P. Seligman to promote strong emotional health. He told people to think of someone who has made an important difference in their lives. He asked them to write the story of how that person had helped them and then visit that person and read the story aloud. A year later, tests showed the people were happier and reported fewer episodes of depression. Think what it did for those who were thanked.
At the ending of many of the New Testament books the apostle Paul wrote, he has a list of people whom he thanked for helping him in teaching, developing letters, or standing by him in defense of the gospel. Some of these were special “helpers”: Aquila and Priscilla, “who for my life laid down their own necks” (Romans 16:3,4); Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achaius, “for that which was lacking...they supplied” (1 Corinthians 16:17); and Mary, “who bestowed much labor” (Romans 16:6). Paul took time to thank churches who supported him as he labored to teach the gospel and brethren who continued to show love and faith to one another.
Who has helped shape your life in Christ? You could write a letter, card, or make a visit to them and read a letter of thanks to them. It will not only be good for your physical and emotional health. It will be valuable to your spiritual maturity. It would increase your spirit of diligence, steadfastness, and determination. You would abide more in the good works GOd has given you to do. Your life would illuminate a path others could follow. It would lead you to be the important difference in the life of another Christian who could use your help in the midst of a crooked and perverse world. Therefore, live soberly, godly, and righteously where you are. Thank God He gave you the privilege and responsibility to be a Christian.