“Finally, brothers, 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.” Philippians 4:8
I feel like so often I write on and emphasize where our thoughts need to dwell…but this morning, after praying that God would help me have a better attitude in various areas of my life, I find myself wondering about my thoughts throughout the day.
This just seems like a constant struggle. I get caught up in everything that’s going on around me and my thoughts are consumed with the stresses of the moment. While my Lord may not be far from my thoughts, I’m not focused in on hope for my future or belief in His goodness in this moment. That sentence sounds a bit depressing. Please know I’m not moping about, despondent in my circumstances by any means. But I also don’t necessarily find my heart overflowing with a pleasing theme (Psalm 45:1).
I’m looking at passages like Philippians 4:8 and wondering if my thoughts are truly stayed on my great God who loves me more deeply and purely than I can fathom. My God who thinks of me, who watches over me, who guides the details of my life and pours out grace to leave me in wonder at His glory. Am I allowing the hope I have in Christ, the peace that He offers, to rule my heart and mind? Am I focused on the goodness of my Lord and trusting—believing—that I will see it in my life?
Perhaps if I was more successful at setting my mind on Him, I would feel more satisfied all around. Because I wouldn’t be focused on what I don’t have or what I wish was different. I would be focused on Him and His beautiful, perfect character, trusting Him to continue doing good to me. I would stop trying to figure out what He can do to change things and instead rest in His steadfast love and faithfulness. It’s a more peace-filled, joyful outlook on my life. It keeps me from feeling stuck wherever I am.
Lord, please root the truths You are teaching me deep in my heart. Meet us where we are and show us Your glory and character so that we will trust in You. I pray, Lord, that this will not just be a good thought that I dwell on for a few moments this morning, but rather that this will be the beginning of a changed life. That this will be part of my being renewed in You. Because I don’t want to be one who never really gets this. I want my thoughts throughout each day to be filled with Your goodness and abundant grace. I want Your hope and joy to characterize my heart. Speak to me—to each of us—through these Scriptures. Fill our hearts with Your truth, love, and faithfulness. You are good and You do good. Not just in generalities, but specifically in the details of our lives.
“There is hope for your future, declares the LORD” Jeremiah 31:17
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!” Psalm 27:13
“Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” Psalm 31:19
“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.” Jeremiah 32:40-41