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
Listen: Philippians 4
There is a lot in life we can’t control. Things like the stock market, sickness, the family we are born into, the housing market, the way people behave and many others. Yet, some of our significant worry and most anxious thoughts are related to these important aspects of our lives. We wouldn’t worry if we didn’t care. This often leads to feeling helpless and powerless—or, even worse, destructive and hopeless.
Philippians is a letter written by an inmate awaiting trial who does not know what his future holds. From his cell, Paul encourages the Philippians to think about what they think about. Paul reinforces that we can’t control whether worry and anxiety pass through our thoughts. However, we can control how we will respond. Paul invites us to retrain our hearts and minds to engage worry and anxiety with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Paul reminds his audience (Philippians 2:5-11) that the arrival of Jesus matters. We can possess settled assurance that God has entered into the chaos of our world to bring mercy, forgiveness and restoration.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Spend a few moments reflecting on Senior Pastor Jeff Manion’s Seven-Day Challenge. Identify one source of media that you believe is dragging you away from hopeful thoughts. Decide right now to cut off your news feed, social media, or angry talk radio for seven days. Ask God to use this time to move your mind and heart away from worry and anxiety toward peace.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.