2/15/16: No Wonder We Have Joy
One of my favorite old hymns is “Count Your Blessings.” The song was written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. and was published way back in 1897. The first two verses and the chorus say:
Verse One: When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
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.
Verse Two: Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
Chorus: Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
This hymn prompts us to encourage ourselves by looking back to remember God’s blessings. “Buck up!” it’s saying, “God’s been there for you and you have much for which to be thankful!”
Today’s verse extends the encouragement into the present and the future. Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (NKJ). Not only has God blessed in the past, He blesses today (the path of life is fullness of joy in God’s presence), will continue to bless tomorrow (You will show me the path), and will bless forevermore.
An investment company’s television commercial pictures a green line on the sidewalk indicating the plan the man has made for his future. When he leaves his broker’s office and detours a bit to look at a luxury car he doesn’t need, his advisor calls from the office and says, “Stay on the path.”
That’s God’s admonition for us today: stay on the path. He instructs us so that we know for sure the path of life. It is the well-trodden road laid before us in the example of Jesus Christ and of the saints that have preceded us. That path is fullness of joy, satisfaction characterized by a merry heart that puts running and skipping in our steps. On that path we find ourselves in His presence where there are pleasures – things delightful, pleasant, and sweet – offered to us by His powerful right hand forevermore.
No wonder we have joy!
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