Think of these things

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“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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 4:4-9)

Do I find myself bitter when I think about my problems? Yes, I do. Do I find myself comforted when I think about Jesus, what he did and who is to me? Yes, I do.

We’re in the winter season. And one thing we all think about when we hear winter is how cold it can be during that season. So we know the physical body will need help with keeping warm. So we dress with more clothes to keep us warm. We seek to make sure the home is warm enough. We seek to make sure the car is warm as well. We do all that for the comfort of our physical body.

Just as the physical body has feelings that needs to be kept in balance with certain measure that either we can acquire ourselves or that others can help us with, the mind also has feelings that need to be kept in balance.

That’s the area most Christian struggle with: the mind. We hear a news that sounds sad, whether it’s true or false, we immediately feel sad. We hear a news that sounds good, we immediately feel relieved, regardless if it’s true or false.

In Philippians 4:4-9, Paul pulls our attention to how he had obtained comforts himself on several occasions. He said,
“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.” The focus is to “think” of these things, by paying attention to them, questioning how applicable they are to us and what purpose do they have. If these things comfort us, think of them. Cover our mind with these things to keep the comfort of our mind in balance, just like the winter clothes would comfort our physical body.

“Think of these things…and the God of peace will be you.”

“Pray…and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

My mind is only at peace when I’m thinking about Jesus and rejoicing because of Him. Any other time, I’m just concerned about getting the things on my “list” done.

The mind doesn’t have a gate where you can simply block out things. If you ask someone not to think about something, to remember what not to think about, he’ll have to be thinking about it. Things go into our mind unfiltered. Even when we know what is true and what is isn’t, hearing a horrible story can unsettle us very easily even after knowing that it’s not true. That is the weakness of the mind.

Because of such, we need to hear the gospel over and over again. We need to be re-minded of the things that God has freely given to us over and over again. The Holy Spirit daily is cleaning our minds of the things that don’t comfort us by filling it up over and over with the things that bring us joy, peace, feeling of being loved.

My feelings are mostly hurt whenever my mind is seeking comfort in another area other than Christ himself. My mind could be seeking comfort in being allowed enough time to do a particular task. My mind could be seeking comfort in not having any interruption while trying to complete that task. My mind could be seeking comfort in seeing things come forth just as I expected them to happen. Because of such, I could easily become destabilized in mind after experiencing what I hadn’t planned for. But if my mind is fixed on Christ, it is at peace more than at any other temporary occasions it ever was before something, or someone, or some very unpleasant thought sinks in where my mind would once again feel deprived of peace, deprived of comfort.

“Think of these things…and the God of peace will be you.”

“Pray (talk with God about it)…and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” said Jesus. (John 14:26)

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