Philippians 4:7 – 9
And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your minds DWELL on THESE things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, PRACTICE these things; and the God of PEACE shall be with you.
It is so easy for us to allow our minds to spiral out of control and to dwell on negative things–how you’ve been treated by someone, trying to discern his/her motives; life circumstances like income or amount of worldly success. It doen’t take long for this kind of thinking to lead to discouragement close to depression. Now, I am not a fan of “positive thinking” to the point of not acknowledging sin or evil in the world. But I do think the Bible speaks to us about not dwelling on the negative things in this world. It is for our own spiritual and mental well-being that God tells us to think about those things that are right, pure, lovely, etc. He tells us that redirecting our thinking to the more “positive” aspects of the world, of Him and His character, will bring His peace to our lives. I think the passage from Phillipians that I have quoted above also indicates that we need to “practice” thinking this way. In other words, it doesn’t come naturally.
In recent months, this has been the way God has been helping me to deal with my own tendencies toward dwelling on the negative, and thus, my own lack of peace.
So tonight, I thought I would blog about what is probably the biggest blessing in my life lately–our 4th baby, Charis. She is a sweet and easygoing infant, who smiles often, and her smile dispells any kind of discouragement in an instant. God gave Charis to us at just the right time, when it seemed easy for me to see only the negative things in my life. At a time when we thought maybe our family was large enough, God obviously knew better. Tonight she is sitting beside me in her exersaucer while I type this with her big sister kneeling beside her singing and talking to her. Generally, Charis’s presence in our family has brought us all much happiness. Having Charis and her sister and brothers are certainly among the loveliest things I can dwell on to remind me that the God of peace is with me.