There are a few never-fail remedies for times we feel discouraged or sad, or just need something to make us smile: one is counting our blessings!
Lamentations is one of the last places I think most people would think to look in the Bible for cheerful verses, but even the weeping prophet had something for which he could be thankful--something that gave him hope.
"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." --Lamentations 3:21-26
These were the words of a man whose nation was overthrown, whose neighbors died of starvation or were killed with the sword, whose city was burned with fire; but in spite of it all, he had hope!
These are the words of a young prophet who was very unpopular. "I was a derision to all my people."
As a matter of fact, these were the words of a man who was hunted by his own family and friends. His own people tried to persecute and kill him. He was thrown into a dungeon. Even from there, he called upon the name of the Lord and was able to testify that: "Thou [Lord] drewest near in the day that I called upon thee. Thou saidst; Fear not."
He watched the flames licking up his city. He cried over the ashes. But He looked up and saw God's mercy. God comforted him. God said, "Fear not!"
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, had something to be thankful for. You may have problems, but remember, there is always something for which you can be thankful.
We have a God who hears us when we pray. We have a God who cares about us and whose mercies are new every morning. We have a God who says, "Fear not!"
Start counting your blessings. Count the little things and the big things. Be thankful for a hearty breakfast or delicious dinner; many in the world are hungry. Be thankful for the clothes that keeps you warm and the roof above you. Be thankful for electricity and running water; less than a century ago these were considered luxuries! Be thankful for the stars in all their beauty. Be thankful for God's wonderful creation. Be thankful for your family, your friends, and your loved ones. For many people, a happy family is only a dream.
Counting your blessings will bring a smile to your face and a song to your heart.
This song, "I'm a Cowboy Rockefeller"--as sung by my brother--is one of my favorites.
As one old proverb says,
"If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy."