Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
There had been a time when he was wide-eyed and optimistic, but that time had long since passed. Life had dealt him some hands he would not have chosen for himself, and things looked bleak. He had lost the joy in his work, and his home life was no better. This man who once approached life with the blind hope of a child now felt as if the reality of this world had extinguished that hope. He spoke with a friend and told her of his predicament, and she had only one word of advice. She told him to remember the hope and promise that he once expected from life and to cling to it. She wanted him to live today in the joy and optimism that had driven him years ago. If he could just remember those times, perhaps he could have some of that in the present.
Scripture encourages us many times to take control over the thoughts that enter our minds. We are to hold them captive in submission to the word of God. We are to renew our minds regularly and keep them in line with his Spirit. Today’s instruction that we set our minds on good and holy things is invaluable. The way in which we focus the power of thought has much to do with how we live our lives. Life’s circumstances can be anything but encouraging, but that does not mean that we approach life as being as bleak as it sometimes seems. When we focus on that which is holy and excellent, and we remember the goodness that we once experienced, it will encourage us to continue to live in expectation of good things.
Our attitude in life matters. We can choose to focus on that which will bring us down, or we can choose to focus on that which will lift us up. Our circumstances cannot drive our mindset. There are promises of glory that we have been given, and those should encourage us daily. God has also done wonderful things for us already, and they can serve to encourage us when the present is not so bright. The bottom line is that we have the power to decide where we let our minds wander. That decision can make a world of difference in how we see and approach life. Father, remind us daily to keep focused on that which is good and holy, and to remember the promises and blessings You have given us.