Philippians 4:8–9 (NKJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Yesterday we talked about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It truly was a day that started bad and ended worse. Upon reflection, I could have handled the day a whole lot better than I did. Instead of focusing on God’s word, the good things that happened throughout the day, and my plentiful blessings… I chose to meditate on the terrible, horrible, no good very bad things that were happening all around me. Here in Philippians, we are encouraged to take an entirely different approach.
The Things That Are True
We know for certain that God’s word is true, we must focus on that, especially during times of trouble. Joshua 21:45 promises… (45) Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass… All came to pass, that is a considerable statement! God’s word did not fail the Israelites, nor will He fail us either. If His word is our focus, we can avoid the enemy who is described in John 10:10… (10) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
The Things That Are Noble And Just
In Matthew we are given the example of what our Christian walk should look like… Matthew 22:37–40 (37) Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
If we are focused on loving our neighbor, nothing bad should be on our mind. After all, it should be very difficult to truly love someone and do them wrong at the same time. If we focus on doing noble and just things, we will sway of focus away from things that are the opposite.
We have to train our mind to focus on the things that are praiseworthy instead of the things that are not! Are you in a spot where you cannot see anything praiseworthy? Take a moment and think about the many things in your life you should be thankful for. Maybe you can look around at your house and think it is not big enough, but, you have a home, focus on that! Maybe you are only 5’ 3.75” tall, be thankful that you are alive at all after being born severely early and only weighing 2.5 pounds. Maybe you hoped to have five kids, instead praise God for your one blessing. Take a minute and look down at your chest, is it rising and falling? Praise God you have been given one more day to spread God’s glorious gospel! Focus on the praiseworthy and allow everything else to fall into proper perspective.
Meditate on God’s promises, ignore the threats from the evil one.
James 1:2–4 (NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.