“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phil 4:8
Life doesn’t seem to be going to way you planned? You got a call from your doctor, are getting the cold shoulder from a loved one, or can’t seem to get through with your children. In everyday testings like these, our minds can easily turn to worst case scenarios. Whatever the uncertainties we may face, we are likely tempted toward fearful, anxious thoughts. Often, our flesh functions on the auto-pilot of fear. We might fret over getting a fatal disease, losing our loved ones, and our children or ones under your care ending up like prodigals. The other option is the only way for the Christian to be Sprit-filled and experience lasting peace and joy. It is the way of love. “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1Cor13:7) A sanctified mind is born out of a love for Christ and following in His steps of obedience. It is the path of God’s choosing for us.
Obedience in the area of our thought life is very challenging. It’s nearly impossible for others to keep us accountable since our friends and mentors are human and don’t posses superpowers to read our minds. Yet, as Scripture says, we must guard our thoughts, for from our heart springs the issues of life. Whatever we sow in our hearts will inevitably come forth in our speech. We can’t hide our feelings for long. However, there is a way for us to filter our feelings with the app of Scripture. God’s great wisdom helps us as we strive to practice heavenly thoughts patterns that excite us toward godliness.
We are naturally given toward thoughts of anticipating what comes next. We sometimes try to fill in the missing piece of our puzzling circumstance with different scenarios and “could-be’s”. However, we must remember Philippians 4:8 and dwell only on what is true. Furthermore, we are not to stay in the bleakness of a harsh reality based on the depressing aspects of our lives. We are to dwell only on what is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable and excellent. This is who God is, and who we are becoming if we are in Christ.
The question is not so much what we’ve been through or even who we are, but who is God? All it takes is faith in our awesome God, even faith as small as a mustard seed will move mountains. Our rest and peace does not come from our ever changing circumstances or on how much others like us at any given moment, it comes from the unchanging character of God Almighty. He loves us the same always and His character never changes. When we truly believe in our hearts that our advocate and intercessor Jesus is also the King of the universe, we will not be shaken though the ground under our feet were to give way. “Throughout the gospel of Mark, they (the disciples) don’t seem to understand that Jesus is the King of the world. He is the one who holds the whole cosmos in his hands. Their failure to accurately identify Jesus leads them to fear, anxiety, and worry.” (Dave Furman, Kiss the Wave)
Heavenly Father, you are near and still sovereign over all the worlds’ affairs; you carry eternity and all existence on your shoulders; yet your eyes are interested in the minute details of our life and the hidden recesses of our hearts. Oh, our great God, make us wholly yours and woo us captive to fall in even greater love with you. May our thoughts be characterized by truth, honor, justice, purity, love, goodness and excellence that we may reflect Christ. In His name.