Think About Such Things

How easy it is to read scripture, love it, be fed by it, get a happy feeling from it, find God right there in it…then close the Book, walk away, and forget to live by the Truth we just read.

Don’t kick yourself over it.  We’re never going to “arrive.”  We’re human.  We are fighting an enemy who wants nothing more than to see us struggle.  He knows enough about us to know our weak points, and that’s exactly where he fires his arrows.

That’s why we eagerly read this read this…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

Great scripture, right?  It’s one of my favorites.  Indeed, we can read it, love it, be fed by it, get a happy feeling from it, find God right there in it, and commit to focus here.  But before we know it, we’re living like this:

Whatever is bothering you, whatever you’re worried about, whatever you have no control over, whatever makes you angry, whatever hurt your feelings, whatever made you sad, whatever may or may not happen, whatever is in the past that you can’t change…think about such things.  Whatever you’ve seen and tried that doesn’t work, keep doing it and remain in that rut of despair.  And overwhelming hopelessness will hold you in bondage.

Been there?  Me too.  It’s painful, pointless, and far too easy to remain in that ugly circle of anxious thoughts that serve only to keep us from peaceful rest in Christ.

It really is possible to re-train our thought life so that we drop-kick the negativity and worry.  We definitely don’t want to stay in this camp, right?  It is not fun here.  It’s cold, muddy, and it rains all the time.  There’s no joy in the prison of fear.  Bleh.  Get me out from under this dark cloud of self pity and bitterness.

And Jesus says, “Yes!  I’d be happy to.  In fact, I already did.  I’m right there with you, everywhere you go.  Turn your focus to Me.  I am love.  I am peace.  I am joy.”

Because of the strength we gain when we take our weaknesses to the cross, we’ve got this!  It takes the power of prayer.  We have to intentionally stop the negative, pointless thoughts that want to take over our minds, take them captive, and make them obedient to Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Because of Jesus, we are living in victory!  Remembering this truth sets our hearts free to focus on all that is true, noble, right, lovely, pure, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Think About Such Things

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Comments

  1. sally mcquaid says

    Thank you for the message today. I am struggling with my devotions and staying attentive. This was a wonderful reminder. While I was reading what you wrote I was thinking “Man, this would be the best thing to hang on my wall. I wish there was a cool writing of it.” And then I scroll down and see you have made one. I cant wait to post it on my wall next to me bed (and maybe a million other places around the house.

    Thanks for all your honesty and openness on this site about your faith and struggles.

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  2. Kristy says

    Thank you, Laura! This is exactly what I needed to hear today! Life has been a bit of a stuggle lately and its so easy to get caught up in the negativity. But, this has reminded me that I need to trust in Jesus and focus on Him and the positives! Thanks! :)

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  3. Lana H. says

    Amen and Amen! This is the message that the Lord has shown me now for about the 4th time since Sunday lol. I have truly struggled this summer with all of the junk you mentioned. I’m so thankful the Lord is good to His children, instructing and chastising as a good Father should. Only by acknowledging the Truth and Peace He placed inside of us can we receive peace and joy in our external pursuits. Thank you so much!!

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  4. says

    This is one of my favorite verses, too. In fact, Philippians 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Thank you for your encouragement today, and the reminder that reading Scripture isn’t enough if we, like James says, walk away and forget it. Your site is a blessing to me!

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  5. Michelle says

    I really, really needed this reminder today! Thank you! Blessings!

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    Amy Reply:

    Me, too. Thanks

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  6. ms.p says

    Thanks I needed this. Going to make some big changes in next few monthes. Going to trust God and go with it.

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  7. says

    Thanks Laura! I love these types of posts. A few years ago, our pastor put pages of the Bible out on the altar and asked everyone to pick one and meditate on it that week. I picked the page with this passage on it and memorized it (actually focused on it during yoga). It changed my life in many ways, but mostly in my marriage. During that time, I was really battling resentment and ugly thoughts toward my wonderful husband. Satan took every small word or deed (or deed not done) that he said/did and instead of me offering grace and love, Satan used that small thing to start me on a negative train of thought. It was getting ugly in my mind. (These thoughts started like a small snowball but ended up rolling down a hill into a huge one.) I don’t know if that makes any sense. The Holy Spirit used this passage to help me take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Him. I recited it as many times as needed when I felt a small thing (small snowball) start growing in my mind :) The Lord is powerful but if we don’t hide His Word in our hearts then it doesn’t help us in our struggle against sin. Thanks for your words of wisdom and grace. Oh– and if you come to the Dallas area anytime, I would love to meet you and your family. You are welcome in our home at any time!!

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