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Count Your Blessings
Bible study on blessings and happiness.

A secret to happiness is prayerfully counting your blessings, while offering thanks to God.

When you're having a bad day, take a few minutes and start thanking God for all the blessings He's given to you. You'll find that your focus turns from things that make you sad, to things that make you happy.

Rejoice In The Lord
The Lord commands us to rejoice all the time.

Paul says, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 3:1). And later in the same epistle he says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice" (Phil 4:4)!

God wants you to be a happy, rejoicing person. Although you'll suffer as Christians, and life isn't always going to be perfect (2 Tim. 3:12), God wants you to rejoice.

Rejoice By Praying All The Time
The key to rejoicing all the time is praying all the time. Paul communicates this principle to the Thessalonians, saying, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing" (1 Th. 5:16-17).

The first step toward rejoicing all the time is praying all the time, constantly talking to God throughout the day. Sometimes you may pause to pray in a formal way, and other times you might speak to God in a single sentence while hurriedly moving from one task to another.

Pray About Everything That Bothers You
Of course, there are things that bother us. We're concerned for the spiritual and physical well-being of others. And we're personally concerned about our jobs, health, finances, family, etc.

Although it's good to be concerned about the things that effect our lives, we shouldn't be anxious. We're not to have undue worldly care about the things of this life -- we can't let worldly care control us.

To accomplish this, Paul tells us to, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).

And Peter, communicating these things in a different manner, says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:6-7).

God wants us to pray about the things that bother us. But, He also wants us to deal with these things in a manner that's befitting of Christians, who place their trust in Him.

We continually pray about the things that bother us, entrusting them into God's hands, depending on Him to deal with them according to His will. Like Jesus, who suffered for you, leaving you an example when He was treated harshly and crucified, "entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Pet. 2:23).

If you prayerfully entrust yourself to God, you'll rejoice while experiencing the difficulties of life.

In Everything Give Thanks
As you communicate with God, make a large part of your prayers the giving of thanks. Paul says, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Th. 5:16-18).

Not only can you incorporate thanksgiving into your prayers as you express your desires and concerns to God, you can also offer up prayers wherein all you do is offer thanks.

When I'm going through my day, and especially when things go right, I constantly offer up one sentence prayers to thank God. If it's a really good day, I might thank God close to a hundred times. And even if it's a really bad day, I still thank God several times a day for giving me a great life, and blessing us so much.

Prayerfully casting your cares on God while offering thanks for your blessings, results in a happy and joyful life -- you'll rejoice in the Lord.

Count Your Blessings
The song, Count Your Many Blessings, sums up these thoughts:

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.

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 be singing as the days go by.

So, amid the conflicts, 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.

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.

It Really Works
I encourage you to count your blessings, specifically, one by one. It helps you focus on the good things, and put the bad things in proper perspective.

If you've not counted your blessings lately, try it. It really works! You'll feel better, trust God more, be happier, and rejoice in the Lord.