We all suffer from the temptation of negative thoughts. Often, it is hard to rid our minds of negative thinking. It can come on us like a flood, overwhelming our souls. The enemy of our souls, the Devil, comes to us seeking to destroy us through tormenting thoughts. But God tells us that we can resist Him in the power of Jesus’ name and He will flee. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 NIV).
Our thought life is a battleground. We must learn how to not only resist negative thoughts but to how to fill our minds with good and uplifting thoughts. We must put off the old and put on the new: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV).
There is a verse in the Bible that I believe can help us to flood our minds with heavenly thoughts to encourage our souls and lift the heaviness. “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” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
It is at the cross that we find all the things that Paul the apostle calls upon us to think about.
The verses remind us that we must give our minds over to redemption. It is in meditating on the cross and all that Jesus accomplished for us and continues to accomplish for us that our minds are renewed.
WHATEVER IS TRUE
It is at the cross where Jesus hung and died for us that we find the truth. It tells us the truth that God loves us with a never-ending love that will never fail us. God who gave us His Son to save us from sin will also keep us by His grace until we enter into God’s eternal Kingdom. We must meditate on this truth.
“31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32 NIV).
WHATEVER IS NOBLE
Paul also tells us to think on that which is noble. We read in the Bible concerning Jesus:
“But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12 NIV).
The sacrifice of Jesus was truly noble. The sacrifice of the Son of God was more than sufficient for the sins of the whole world. This tells us that the gospel message is for every man. Jesus’ death was a complete sacrifice for the redemption of all of humanity. Nothing else needs to be done. We need to flood our minds with thanksgiving for God’s complete and noble redemption.
WHATEVER IS PURE
We can think of that which is pure. Jesus is the sinless Son of God. He was tempted in every way as we are. Yet He never sinned. He understands our struggles and is there, through the power of the Spirit, to strengthen us to overcome every temptation. We must meditate on the sinless Son of God. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15 NIV).
WHATEVER IS LOVELY
Paul exhorts us to think about that which is lovely. There is no one or nothing in this world or in heaven above that is more lovely than Jesus himself. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to Him. He is the loveliest of all. The writer to the Hebrews tells us: “3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs” (Hebrews 1:3-4 NIV).
The angels in heaven are full of majesty and glory. But in comparison to Jesus, their glory is but a flicker. He is much more superior to them in glory. In Him, we see the very radiance of God himself. He is the one who purified us from our sins. He is the One who now sits at the right hand of God in glory. He is truly and completely lovely. Think often of how lovely Jesus is! The songwriter wrote:
All that thrills my soul is Jesus
He is more than life to me
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see
WHATEVER IS ADMIRABLE
Paul calls us to think of that which is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. This again calls attention to our Redeemer. There are many great names we could refer to of great men and women who did great things in history. But they all fade into nothing in comparison to the greatness of our Savior.
Heaven is filled with His praise. He will be admired for all eternity both by the angelic host and by all of the redeemed. Praise will forever go up and never cease because He is admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. We see this unending praise in the book of Revelation. We need to fix our minds upon it.
“9 And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’ 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ 14 The four living creatures said, ‘Amen,’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
Revelation 5:9-14 NIV
My friend, think about these things!