Almost 14 years ago, I was sitting in a pew at my previous church, and it was a rough day. Nothing seemed to go right. I had some church members chew me out about how loud the students were, my pastor came to me and asked why I didn’t have suit on and then explained how we are to set an example for the youth in the way we dress and, to finish it off, I had just come back from my uncle’s funeral. So, not a good day.

I was sitting in church, thinking about all the awful things going on, and we started singing one of the songs out of the hymnal. I wasn’t into it, but I was singing the words. I was going through the motions. Then all of sudden we got to the 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.

Count Your Blessings by Johnson Oatman & E. O. Excell

As I sang that part, it was as if God stopped time and began to show me all the blessings that he had already done for me that day, that week, and even over that past month. I can’t explain exactly what happened, but I know without a doubt that God was changing my attitude. I was allowing all the rough parts of the previous week to distract me from worshiping my savior. And, to be honest, I allow that to happen a little more than I would like to confess.

So what are we supposed to do when we allow the trials of life to overwhelm us?

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
— Colossians 3:2

So what does that look like? Well, to start off, we should remind ourselves daily that we were bought with the blood of Christ. He has given us life, he created us, he sustains us, and he loves us! While sitting in that pew with time frozen, I remember taking a deep breath and, as I exhaled, it was as if God whispered in my ear, “That was from me.” Sometimes, when we are overwhelmed, we need to stop everything and simply take a deep breath and remind ourselves that God is with us.

One of the biggest traps the devil will set is the trap of distraction. If he can get us to focus on all the bad in our lives, we won’t see the blessings from God. We need to focus more on Jesus than on our problems. He wasn’t caught off guard by our situation. In fact, he knew it was coming, and he knows how he is going to bless you through the situation. So when you find yourself focused on the wrong things, count your many blessings, because there is something about taking inventory that will change your attitude towards life.

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