“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
What we are thinking about has everything to do with how we feel. It is a progression like this: We do what we do because feel what we feel because we think what we think. You see, the root of our actions and feelings is what is in our mind. In this sense our actions are based upon our emotions; our selfish desires. Sometimes we get into a circumstance and we just have no one else to blame but God. James talks about this a little, take a look:
(James 1:13-15) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Essentially, James says that it looks like this: temptation –> sin –> death
Notice how James says it “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust”. In the Bible that word “lust” is simply another word for “strong desire”. We strongly desire those things that we spend the most time thinking on. And this is where our daily verse comes in. Paul is encouraging the church at Philippi to concentrate on the good things; the right things. This verse in Phil 4:8 is followed with a promise “(Phil 4:9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” This is a frequent pattern in the Bible, a command and a promise. We are promised that when we think on the right things that God will grant us peace. Thinking on the right things causes us to do what we do because we think what is right no matter how we feel. And then we allow God to change how we feel. In this sense our actions are based upon truth rather than emotions.
I encourage you to commit Philippians 4:8 to memory and then when you find yourself unhappy, anxious or depressed recall these things to mind and you shall have the peace that God promises. God will change your feelings, if only you allow Him to do so.
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