There is one additional blessing I would like you to consider. We do not suffer from religious persecution in this country. There are so many examples of Christians in other countries who are imprisoned for their faith, maimed or killed for their faith, excommunicated from their families and have to live in hiding because they have found the Lord. In North Korea, believers do not even tell their children that they are Christians, because children are told to report their parents who are Christians. They never have the luxury of attending church, and usually do not even know who the other believers are because of the high level of secrecy. Think of your own freedom to sing praises to God. If you were a Christian in North Korea, you would never consider singing a Christian song aloud. Punishment for being a Christian can result in imprisonment where they face hard labor and starvation. Many times the payment for being a Christian is the death.
In Saudi Arabia, it is against the law to be a Christian, which is punishable by death. Christianity is almost nonexistent. If a person does convert to Christianity, the family members and relatives murder the convert, which is considered an honor killing.
In Nigeria, young Christian girls are kidnapped and forced to marry Muslim men. That makes them legally Muslim. The punishment for converting from Muslim to Christianity is death, so these girls cannot “convert” back to Christianity. Evangelism is banned, and many hundreds of Christian churches have been burned and Christians shot while they are praying.
In China, it is illegal to ever talk to anyone about God under the age of 18. It is also illegal to try to persuade someone toward religion. Most Christians worship in secret, in underground churches not sanctioned by the government.
How did you manage to be so blessed? How fortunate you are to be living with abundant food, clean water, shelter that protects us from all the elements, AND the knowledge of our saving God, so that we not only have blessings on this earth, but also may have the blessing of Heaven for eternity! When I think of all of these things, these tremendous blessings in my own life, it makes me want to get on my knees with tears in my eyes and thank the God of the universe for choosing me, this insignificant dot on a dot, to receive all these amazing benefits He has given me in this life.
“The LORD hath done great things for us, wherein we are glad.” Psalm 126:3.
If you take time to think about the wonderful blessings in your life, you will realize how many you actually have. I make it a habit to try to thank God aloud for blessings when I am doing simple tasks around the house. Just for an example, when I am waiting for doing my morning routine, getting ready for the day, I try to think of things I am thankful for that day. And I don’t just limit it to the big things, I try to thank God for even the little things we don’t usually think about. If someone could actually hear me, they might think it rather odd, but I audibly say things like, “Thank you, Lord, for the ability to get a nice hot shower every day. Thank you for my warm, soft bed. Thank you that I have people who love me for who I am. Thank you for medicine that helps me feel better.” And the list goes on until I am done with that task. Then, during the day, whenever I am grateful for something, I again just look to Him and say “thank you.” If you make a habit of this, you will realize just how many wonderful blessings you do have in your life. They really are too numerous to number. I challenge you to add this to your daily routine. When you do this, it puts a joy in your heart because you are concentrating on the good things in life, and not just ruminating over the bad.
In Psalm 5:12 we read, “For Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt Thou compass him as with a shield.”