Read: Philippians 4:8-9
Key Verse: “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.”
Dig Deeper: In “The Peace of God, Part 1,” I talked about God’s shield in times of worry, in Philippians 4:6-7. I’ve read these verses countless times, but this time, God led me to focus on verse 8 (quoted above). Again, I’ve read the verse countless times and always read it as a call to purity in our thoughts, which I still believe it is. I never really thought about it in relation to the preceding verse or thought it had anything to do with worry or peace.
As God led me to keep reading and put the verses together, a light bulb came on. I don’t think it’s an accident that this verse follows the verses about worry and the peace of God. When I worry, I’m thinking about bad things. I think about the worst case scenario (which usually doesn’t happen). I think about all the needs and how I can’t see how they are going to be met. I live in fear of things that could happen, and allow myself and my heart to be overcome with the what-ifs, as I meditate on the bad.
What if, instead of meditating on the bad things, I instead do as this verse instructs and focus instead on the good things. What if I meditate on God’s truth and His promises? What if I focus on things that are of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy? What a paradigm shift I could experience if I allowed positive thoughts to push away the negative ones.
I know this sounds simplistic, but it makes so much sense to drive out those negative thoughts with positive ones. If you literally have nothing good in your life to think about, just start praising God for who He is, because no matter our circumstances, He is always good. Too often, we choose instead to “meditate” and focus on bad things, which brings us down and steals our peace and joy. I believe that if we truly make the choice to “meditate” on those good things, negativity will have no place. And satan will lose such a hold on our lives.