“It reads in Philippians 4:8-12: 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. “Thanks for Their Gifts” I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
What is true of the peace that comes to us from God? The Divine peace is beyond all comprehension, past every understanding. The peace of God does not come after all problems are solved; all perplexities removed. The peace of God flows into our heart and spirit and mind during our confusions and dreads. Then we know that all is well even though we do not yet witness the solution in the material realm. What does the Divine peace do for us? God’s peace guards our hearts and minds in Christ, preventing anxiety, worry, dread, fear, turmoil, distraction, confusion, strife, excessive ambition, extreme conscientiousness, perfectionism, from destroying our quiet rest, peace, joy, and assurance. Our Good Shepherd leads us into green pastures beside quiet waters. On what kinds of matters should the saint allow his mind to dwell?
Whatever is true.
Whatever is honest, honorable, and worthy of reverence.
Whatever is just and righteous.
Whatever is pure.
Whatever is lovely.
Whatever is of good reputation.
Whatever is excellent and virtuous.
Whatever is worthy of praise.
Without doubt this exhortation is of the greatest importance to us today. There is so much evil. There is so much perversity. There is so much deception. When we are not careful we soon find ourselves attempting to fight Satan’s fire with some fire of our own. Satan enjoys having us do this because he is the master of violence, of murder, of malice, of the lie, of dishonesty, of unrighteousness, of filthiness, of evil, of all that is perverse and destructive. It is not good for the Christian to watch the television constantly, to read the newspaper carefully, to dwell on the wickedness in the world and in the church. To allow our mind to dwell on what is wrong in the world is destructive of righteousness, peace, and joy. The Word of God commands us to refrain from fretting. How can we refrain from fretting if we permit our minds to dwell on what is perverse and unrighteous? Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. ( It reads in Psalms 37:2: For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. ) The Holy Spirit in Paul directs us to think continually of what is true, honorable, righteous, pure, lovely, worthy of praise. When we contemplate these things we are filled with righteousness, peace, and joy, with the Kingdom of God. One person can look at the world and see the devil on every hand. Another person can look at the world and behold the Glory of God on every hand. We can dwell on what sin has accomplished or we can dwell on what God has accomplished. The choice is ours. The Bible commands us to think about what is holy. The Bible commands us to refrain from fretting ourselves concerning what is evil, for it soon will pass away. If we would prove the will of God we must allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Let us obey the Spirit of God in this aspect of redemption. Paul was in prison at the time of writing the Book of Philippians. He was surrounded by unsaved Roman soldiers. There was no moment of Paul’s day in which he could escape to quiet, peaceful, godly surroundings. He could have become bitter, full of complaints and worries. Instead, he chose to think about all that is pure, lovely, and worthy of praise.