I don’t know about you, but what I see on the media these days sends my heart pounding and shoulders drooping under a heaviness of the hate and hurt out there in the world. In my season it is also easy to feel isolated, and it only makes the things I see and hear weigh even heavier on my heart. Thankfully, I don’t have to be stuck in this rut, and thankfully I am not actually alone.
In Philippians 4:8, it says “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.” Man, oh man. Straight to my heart.
Yes, I think it is important to be aware of what is happening in the world and to combat the schemes of the enemy with prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon and we should be circling our spheres with it! But I also think it is counter cultural to choose to speak life and encouragement instead of dwelling on the complaints and the darkness. Choosing to think about –and surround ourselves with– what is pure, lovely, right, and true, can radically shift our perspective and release some of that burden.
If we continue reading, Philippians 4:9 says “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.” Our God is the God of peace which transcends all understanding –declares verse 7 from the very same chapter!– and He is the one who will guard our hearts.
When you are feeling down or discouraged, ask the Lord to remind you of the beautiful things He has placed in your life. Seek Him and recall the ways He has been faithful to you before. Count your blessings when anxiety seeps in. Present your requests to God with thanksgiving. Spend some time in Philippians 4 and your life will never be the same.
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