How blessed are we?
As Christmas rolls around again our thoughts turn to the blessings of this past year.
For many who have suffered the downturn of our economy it may be difficult to give thanks this year. But let's pause for a moment to think how blessed we really are. To live in a country like America where we are free to be and do whatever we choose is a huge blessing.
Our forefathers fought for our freedom paying a great price not only for freedom, but also to enable us to worship freely. In turn, God has miraculously blessed America. As long as we serve and honor Him, God will continue to bless us.
Yet in America and in our own community there are feelings of insecurity and uncertainty as many people have lost their jobs and are suffering from loss of income. Many people are asking the question, "where is God in all this mess?" God has not, nor will He ever abandon His children. God is right where He has always been. God is on His throne and still in complete control of everything.
He is the Great I am for every generation. He is an all-seeing, all knowing God who looks down upon His children with mercy and grace. He is well aware of the shape of our economy. After all, He is the One who has made us and given everything we have. Everything is His. He has simply loaned us what we have so that we can enjoy our life while on earth.
Our real home is meant to be Heaven, and will be for all who has accepted Christ as their Personal Savior. Life on earth is temporary.
We should be laying up treasures in heaven where a troubled economy doesn't matter. There's no such thing as a troubled economy in Heaven where even the streets are paved with gold.
How blessed are we? How many of us have to worry about going to bed hungry or cold or not having proper shelter from the elements. We as selfish Americans take so much for granted. Our greatest problem is that we want too much.
In most cases God has given us what we need, maybe not always what we want, but what we need. He knows our needs even better than we do ourselves and He is abundantly able to provide. What gets people in trouble is living above our means. We should be satisfied with what God gives us and not be constantly wanting more.
"Things" do not make people happy. Some people think that a bigger house, a fancier car, and other finery will make them happy. Then after buying these things, not being able to afford them, the debts mount and there seems no way out of debt.
Greed is a terrible thing of which unfortunately we Americans are guilty. It must literally fly in the face of God, our maker and provider, when He sees us unhappy with how He has chosen to bless us. It is important to understand that God has abundantly blessed us for a reason and that reason is that we in turn may bless others. He has not given us material gifts and spiritual gifts so that we can hoard them but so that we may share them with others.
If Christians did this there would be a lot less hungry, homeless people and there would be a lot more people accepting Christ as their Personal Savior. There would be a lot less need for government welfare programs and a greater joy for Christians to fill in the gaps.
How blessed are we? Everyone knows that we are the most blessed people on Earth. Even our poorest Americans are considered rich by the world's standards. As is recorded in Psalm 32:2, "Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord."
This Christmas and always let us not be downcast because of our economy or what we don't have. Let us be thankful instead for what we do have. The greatest blessing we have ever been given is Christ the Lord, who left a perfect heaven to come down to sinful earth to live among us and give His life as a sacrifice for our sins.
While He walked in sandaled feet the long dusty roads of earth, He who is owner and maker of the universe had no place to even lay His head.
Although all riches of earth were at His disposal, He lived in poverty, placing importance on the souls of people rather than on worldly wealth, comfort or pleasure.
We would be blessed to imitate the life of Christ. If we could teach the world this truth, that there are greater treasures than the "things" of this world and that what matters is the souls of people and where they will spend eternity.
How blessed are we? If we know Christ as our Personal Savior we are blessed beyond measure. We are further blessed if we share the message of God's love with those who do not know Him. When we lead others to know Christ then that is laying up treasures in heaven.
This Christmas may all who are lonely, depressed, oppressed, discouraged, or sad look to Jesus and not let the bad economy, job loss, or other losses prevent us form seeing the simple beauty of Christ born in a manger, the agony of Jesus on the cross, and the joy of His resurrection. May we not be downcast over what we don't have but to give God the glory for all He has given and done.
It has been said that "the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least."
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and leave the rest to God.