Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally brothers, 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.
Oh my goodness! I have read this passage so many times before but this week I have really been thinking about it and meditating on it and it's becoming so real and clear in my heart and mind. It's so easy for me to allow myself to worry, and fret, and rehearse in my mind, everything that is wrong or not going my way. Yet, the word of God says that I have the ability to refuse to give in to worry and fear and all the negative emotions that flood my mind when things are difficult. I can make a choice, the moment the negative thoughts, the worry, the anxiety enters my thoughts.....I can choose what I am going to do. I can focus on the negative thoughts and feed the fear, worry, discontent, unhappiness, stress, and anxiety...or I can CHOOSE to use those anxious thoughts as a reminder to PRAY. And to not only pray, but to pray with a grateful and thankful heart. I can choose to trade my anxiety and discontent for God's peace which passes all understanding! How wonderful is that!?
In verse 8 we are shown how to do remain in this peace....by focusing our thoughts on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. I choose what I allow my mind to dwell on...and when I choose to dwell on the things God has instructed me to dwell on, I get to trade my stress and anxiety for His peace. What a wonderful trade off!
So...I am working on this. I am trying to be very intentional with my thought life. It's going to take practice....but I know that as I step out in faith and try to do what God's word instructs me to do, He will strengthen and enable me to do His will. I am encouraged in that this morning.