COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS                                                          written in 1897

The Story

This hymn was written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1856-1922). His father, Johnson Oatman, Sr., a prominent businessman in the small town of Lumbertown, New Jersey, was a well-known singer in Christian circles.

Johnson Jr. worked in his father’s business all his life. In fact, it seemed he lived in his father’s shadow all his life… even carrying his father’s name.

He eventually became an ordained Methodist minister, though, and often preached in the small churches in the area. He also sang in churches, but he could never sing like his father sang.

But, when Johnson Jr. was 36-years-old, he counted his blessings… and discovered a talent he never realized he had. He could write songs! For the next 3 decades he wrote 4 or 5 new gospel songs each week! He didn’t want money for his hymns, but his publisher insisted… so Johnson Jr. agreed to accept $1 per song.

Edwin Excell (1851-1921) composed and published this hymn.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and – today – count your blessings… name them one by one.

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 has done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,

count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord has 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 keep singing as the days go by.  (Refrain)

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
your reward in Heaven, nor your home on high.  (Refrain)

So, amid the conflict 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.  (Refrain)

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