Thursday, 31 December 2020
Title: Count Your Blessings And It Will Surprise You What The Lord Has Done In 2020
By: Pastor Isaac Yim
Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT)
1 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
At the end of 2020, I must admit many things in life are really difficult to understand. The pandemic has hit the whole world in diverse ways. The hardship is hard to bear. I had the opportunity to minister to many people who experienced pain that is too much to tolerate in life. In those situations, we can only name our pain and suffering. Yet the Psalmist remind us not to forget to give thanks and to praise His Holy Name. Don’t forget the good things He has done for us. The hardships and sufferings resulting from the pandemic seem to overshadow all the good things God has done for us in 2020.
The Psalmist has enumerated six benefits, or blessings, which God has so graciously showered upon all of us who put our trust in Him (Psalm 103:3-5)
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
The refrain of the Hymn, Count Your Blessings (by Johnson Oatman, Jr 1897):
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
I have been greatly blessed during this pandemic. I cannot help but to count my blessings and name them one by one. It surprised me what the Lord has done:
- I thank the Lord for slowing me down to spend more intimate time with Him.
- I am from a workaholic background. The MCO has given me the opportunity to spend my morning unhurriedly, in reading God’s Word and praying.
- I must confess I did not see and appreciate many things about my wife Rosie. I now can see the loneliness she went through, when I used to travel almost three months away from home.
- I thank God the MCO enables me to go back to daily exercise which I had stopped for more than 10 years. I am still healthy and active in serving God.
- I have a new appreciation for what matters. Beside loving and serving God, I treasure my family and friends. I have more time for people over a cup of tea.
- Even in hard times, God didn’t abandon us. God still send ravens to provide food for us, like in the days of Elijah. Many of you have been so kind to make sure we are well. Two months ago, at a wedding of one of the church members, I met up with a former student whom I taught a few years ago. This person is now sending dinner to us three times a week.
- I thank the Lord that even in the MCO, God blessed PBC with a great team of faithful pastors, elders, deacons and deaconesses, Care Groups leaders and many unsung heroes and heroines serving the flock and the community.
- I thank the Lord for the faithful team of Daily Devotion writers, proof-readers, translators, and staff coordinators. This Daily Devotion was intended to hold the church together during the MCO but today it has spread to about 20 countries. We praised God for testimonies received from those who have been encouraged to walk with the Lord, and we received testimonies of people coming to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
I encourage you to pick up a pen and paper to start writing down the blessings you have received from the Lord in 2020.
May I borrow this paragraph to close this devotion: “There are times in our lives when we don’t always see God’s blessings right away. Sometimes they are disguised, and the things we once thought of as bad, or scary, turn into wonderful blessings. Think of a caterpillar. He isn’t very pretty. And I wonder if it is a little bit scary for him to seal off the cocoon, he entwined around himself. I wonder if it is dark in there. I wonder if Mr. Caterpillar screams, ‘Let me out of here. I can’t breathe!’ But then one day, at just the right time, we see something beautiful happening. We see God’s plan, the miracle of a beautiful butterfly.” (I couldn’t trace the author.)
Prayer for today
Lord, forgive me for taking many things in life for granted. Thank you, Lord, You allow me to slow down and enjoy living in Your presence. I am grateful that You forgive, You heal, You save, You have lavished on me Your love and mercies and You satisfy me with good things and You renew my strength daily. You have given much to me and You require much from me. Thank you for this great privilege to be alive and well, serving You with joy and gladness in 2020.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it (1 Thess.5:23-24 ESV).
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
愿赐平安的上帝亲自使你们全然成圣。又愿你们的灵与魂与身子得蒙保守，在我们主耶稣基督降临的时候，完全无可指摘。那召你们的本是信实的，他必成就这事。（帖撒罗尼迦前书 5:23-24 和合本）