Think on These Things!
We all have multiple lives on the go at the same time. We have family life, work life, spiritual life, prayer life, friendship life and probably a few others. And then we have our thought life, which is interwoven with all the others. Thought life is what occupies our mind through day and night; it is the things we think about. God has a thought life too – In Jeremiah 29 He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (a hope and a future).” And even though God’s thoughts, as he tells us in Isaiah 55, are “higher than the heavens are above the earth” above ours, He is able to guide and intervene in our smallest thoughts here!
How is your thought life these days? What percentage of your thoughts are positive and uplifting versus downcast, frustrated or angry? Are your thoughts helping you or preventing you from being thankful? Are your thoughts opening your heart to others, or closing it off? Are your thoughts about the future black, or bright?
The Apostle Paul, in Philippians Chapter 4, gives some of the greatest advice possible for the benefit of our thought life. Paul lived a very difficult life after his conversion to follow Jesus Christ (read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 for a partial listing of his troubles) and he had ample reason to think dark thoughts about his present and future. Instead, here is what God gave him: “Finally, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any (reason for) praise, think on these things”. Look at that list! Is there anything negative, dark, hopeless, depressing or downcast there? So much of our life depends not so much on what is, or what might be, but on what we think about it, because that affects the core of our emotional, spiritual and even physical health. Can we ignore troubles in hope that they will go away? No, but neither do we need to stare at them. The items on Paul’s list are all sent from heaven, from the heart of God and Jesus Christ. If you look intently and continuously at Jesus, your troubles may still be there, but only in your peripheral vision, not front and centre, and that may make all the difference. May God bless your thought life richly!