Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:8 (KJV): Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Four days ago, I posted a devotional about living a joy filled life. As I write and post devotionals, I often contemplate how these writings impact other people’s lives. In other words, I wonder if what I am doing is helping someone through a difficult time or making a difference in some way to a reader. As I wrote this devotional about living a joy filled life in the midst of difficulties, I had no way of knowing what was coming my way.
For the next four days, I would be facing a difficult test on practicing what I preached (or wrote). Without going into any specific details, I will tell you that I have been challenged to try to think positive thoughts in the midst of an all out attack by Satan. Now I know that this will make some people very uncomfortable, but deep down inside my soul, I am certain that this is what I have been battling against this week. And the very fact, that I have been under this specific attack this week, has made me realize that maybe I was on to something. Could it be that my writing on Monday would help to encourage others in their daily walk with God? Could it be that Satan was trying to prevent me from sharing additional advice on how to produce good and positive thoughts?
So, in response to this, I am posting the same scripture reading again, this time in the King James Version. And I am also encouraging you to think about those things that are true, those things that are noble, those things that are right and pure, and that which is admirable. Philippians 4:7 gives us the following promise: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Tommy Newberry writes that Paul is reminding us that we have a choice. With God’s help, we can control our thoughts. Further, his words teach us that the choice is between good and bad, between excellence and mediocrity. Life is never completely good or completely bad. According to Newberry, there will always be some junk, and there will always be some greatness. Life is filled with peaks and valleys. But even in the valleys, there will always be something working really well in your life; and even on the mountain peaks, everything will not be perfect. Life is always a mixture of good and bad.
Newberry says that whether you choose to count your blessings or choose to complain, it’s helpful to understand that you have a choice. When you focus on the good, you not only notice more good but you actually create more good.
I had hoped that this attack would come to an end on this Friday the 13th, but it only intensified. My day began by unloading a truck by myself at work this morning at 6am. The truck driver was not a man that was full of joy and peace but he was a man that was angry and full of complaints and self-pity. He was complaining about his job and the company that he worked for. He complained about the people that he dealt with on a daily basis. This man just continued to complain and curse and wallow in self-pity.
I then dealt with customers throughout the day that were rude and uncaring towards anyone working in retail. I have learned, for the most part, how to handle those types of people that have very little regard for any other human being. These people are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t notice or even care about anything that does not affect their own life. In spite of this, I tried to think positively and focus on the God that I serve.
As I write this devotional, I am wondering how many of you have struggled with thinking good and positive thoughts this week. For me, it seemed that each time I tried to think about those things that were true and right and pure, I was bombarded with negative and self-defeating thoughts. Satan placed many obstacles in my mind and in my path this week, but I serve a God whose power is greater than Satan and his demons. 1 John 4:4 reminds us that, the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world!
I leave you with this final word from the book of Philippians: Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:3, NIV).
Source used: The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.