Where do your thoughts go in the tough times of life? I try to be an optimist in those times. I would like to say I’m always successful, but not so much. The things of this world are so hard to live through, and quite honestly there are times I’m not sure how I’m going to get through them.
I then begin to sink into a very pessimistic way of thinking. I imagine worse case scenarios. Then my stomach begins to hurt, and the headaches come. Then all I really want to do is climb in bed, throw the blankets over my head, and just stop the world from spinning.
Let’s be honest, that is not the way a follower of King Jesus should think or act. In fact, the Holy Spirit tells us how we are to handle such feelings and thoughts. In Philippians 4:4 we are told to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, even when we do not feel like it. Then as if that weren’t enough, he tells us “Again: Rejoice”.
Paul is writing this and, honestly, it kind of ticks me off to have this guy telling me to rejoice when I really don’t feel like it. Who does he think he is? Well, Paul is the guy that has been beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, whipped, and thrown in prison for the sake of Jesus and His gospel. Yeah, I know. It makes me stop and look at my circumstances and ask what do I have to be so pessimistic about? In fact, I am reminded that our God is a Great and Loving God. He came to earth just for the purpose of redeeming my soul. How do I get to that thought when I am in such a horrible place mentally and emotionally?
V. 8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” I must get back to truth. What is the truth? Truth keeps me from focusing on the lie that the enemy wants me to focus on. By the way, the devil is a jerk. Don’t listen to him because he is a liar as well. Focus on the right, the pure, the lovely, the things that are admirable, and all the things that are excellent in our lives. We are called to dwell on these things.
I know this is not always easy. That is why the Lord gave us His church to have family come along beside us when we cannot do this on our own. I pray you belong to a family of believers that hug and hold each other in those difficult times so that you know you are never alone. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” Amen