When we nurse a negative emotion, we amplify it in our mind, cement it in our thinking and establish the roots of it in our soul. Yet, this only ends up hurting, rather than helping us.
Paul recommends that we think and meditate on only positive thoughts and emotions. He even gives us a list of acceptable ideas to consider and contemplate, and on which to focus.
This verse suggests that we think only on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). If it does not meet these requirements, we ask God to help us to change our focus about the issue.
Grudges, depression, jealousy, anger, hurt feelings, suspicion, frustration, shame, grief, etc. usually come from lies, which Satan whispers in our ear. However, if they are founded in fact, we can use the Serenity Prayer to resolve them.
We either change the circumstance or give it to God to deal with; but whatever we do, we change our attitude about it to keep our soul encouraged by the positive that is going on in and around us.
Paul goes one step further and encourages us to rejoice in our tribulation. I never could figure out how to do that, until I realized that God plants the seed for a miracle within every trial.
Now, I simply praise our Father God with gratitude and faith in His faithfulness through tribulation, and I look at it as an adventure in Christ rather than as just another negative encounter with life.
Our attitude during trials is the greatest witness to the world around us of the Christ within us (1 Peter 2:12). We can "preach" to them until we are blue in the face, but what we "say" with our actions and attitude speaks more about the love of Christ than our words.
Father God, remind us that the result of us maintaining positive thoughts and attitudes is Your peace within us (Philippians 4:7). Your peace is the precursor for all of our thoughts, words and actions; and our thoughts, words and actions can disturb Your peace within us quicker than anything. We often imagine the worse-case scenario, which rarely happens, and this slides us right down into the pit of worry and depression.
You give us Your wisdom to deal with each moment of life, which we encounter. Your wisdom is pure, filled with peace, loving, considerate, easily surrendered to, full of mercy and grace, produces good fruit in and through us, and is impartial and sincere (James 3:17). Help us to stay focused on Your blessings and provision in our life.
Thought for the Day:
There is more potential power in gratitude and praise than in nursing negative emotions.