“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”
Philippians 4:8 AMP
Have you ever stopped to think about your thoughts? The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. These last few weeks I have been reflecting on the significance of our thoughts and what we allow our minds to dwell upon. In the passage above from Philippians, we see a description of what we, as believers, should continually think about and centre our minds around. In our sinful human nature, however, our minds do not automatically dwell on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, or worthy of praise. That is why it is important, especially as disciples of Jesus Christ, to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
One way we can do this is by setting aside time to be in the written Word of God. For when we know what is true and what we ought to be thinking about, we’ll be more equipped to recognize the lies that pop up in our minds. So then, in the moments when we feel overwhelmed or weighed down by our circumstances and there is a battle between the flesh and the Spirit for our minds, we can challenge our thoughts by asking, “Is this thought true? Is it honorable? Is what I’m choosing to dwell on right and confirmed by God’s Word? Is It pure and wholesome?”. Not all of the 30,000 thoughts we have a day are worth continually thinking upon.
We also see in the passage above that in every circumstance and situation, we can go to God in prayer. Even come with thanksgiving, not because our circumstances are good, but because He is Good. And when we do, we see the promise that His peace which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds. The Greek word for ‘guard’ means to keep under guard, protect, or keep by guarding. We are to be diligent in taking our thoughts captive by being in the Word, knowing what is true, bringing everything to Him by prayer with thanksgiving, but we can trust that His peace will protect our hearts and minds.
So, my friend, what are you continually thinking about? Have you thought about your thoughts lately? What thought is weighing you down that you can give to our Heavenly Father, right now, at this moment?
By: Sarah Janzen