Philippians 4:8 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. (KJV)
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (KJV)
I have three giants in my life. Worry, lack of peace and wrong thinking.
I was doing a word study on verse 8. My eyes kept wondering back to verse 6. Actually it was my mouse but where the cursor rolled there the eyes followed. I was working my way through Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. I was looking at the meaning of each word in the Greek along with the various definitions. I had several commentaries open reading what the sages had written.
Robertson’s Word Pictures gave me an interesting look at these two verses. It was in that particular commentary that I decided to click on verse 6. That was when I had my ah ha moment. We look at some things so many times that we do not always connect the dots or see the correlation between the two.
In verse 6 we are told “Be careful for nothing….”. Mind you I had just sat here for the last hour looking up each word in verse 8. My eyes flitted back and forth and my head is cocked to one side looking at the words ‘to be careful’ and ‘not to be anxious’. When Paul wrote those words, be careful for nothing, the Greek word ‘merimnao’ is used which means ‘not to be anxious’.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.(KJV)
When I put verses 6,7 and 8 together I come up with a circle. My circle only has to make sense to me.
Philippians 4:8 could read……Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true (not concealing, genuine, straight, precise, exact, not counterfeit, free from falsehood, not fraudulent), whatsoever things are honest (venerable, grave, upright, fair, sincere, decent, suitable, frank, unimpeached), whatsoever things are just (equitable, innocent, orderly, suitable, proper, principled, accurate), whatsoever things are pure (properly clean, innocent, modest, chaste, incorrupt, free from defilement, not sullied, guiltless, without spot or blemish ), whatsoever things are lovely (acceptable, friendly, towards, amiable), whatsoever things are of good report (well spoken of, reputable, held in high esteem, good character, good conduct, distinction, not disgraceful); if there be any virtue (valor, strength, bravery, moral goodness, abstaining from vice, temperance, voluntary obedience to truth), and if there be any praise (laudation, commendable, meritorious, glorifying, extolling, applaud, magnify, honor), think (conclude, estimate, reckon, reason, impute, consider,reflect,meditate,recollect, suppose) on these things.
If my mind and heart are focused on the above verse, then I will not have time nor could I give place to being anxious. Be careful for nothing; not to be anxious or greatly concerned.
If my mind and heart are focused on the above verse there is no time to be anxious but only time to give all things over to God in prayer and supplication and let my requests be known. I am supposed to turn it over and think on other things (vs 6). I am to cast ALL my cares upon him……(I Peter 5:7).
In return, my heart and mind would be kept in the peace of God which passeth all understanding.
I cannot say that I know true peace. I cannot keep myself from being anxious and worrying. I do know what is hindering me from experiencing the peace that only God can give. My thoughts are not focused on where they should be.
I want to strive everyday to think on that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. I am going to run from thoughts of complacency, doubt, fear, regret and mistakes. If I can always keep that in the forefront of my mind and first place in my heart then judging by that list of words in verse 8, I will not have time to worry. There could not possibly be enough room in my head for any more than that. Certainly no room for worry.
To know the peace of God…..through Christ Jesus? Perfect peace. My mind is too puny to wrap itself around that thought. I know the peace of my salvation. I do not doubt my salvation. I do not have peace for daily living. My mind and emotions take me places that should be put aside.
I sat here asking myself why is that kind of thinking so difficult for me or anyone for that matter. My only thought is that it requires a level of blind trust that I do not have. It requires an acceptance of a free gift that my nature continues to feel it must work for. It requires not dragging out of the closet of my mind every mistake I have made and worrying over the mistakes of the future.
Either way I look at it, I see a circle. The circle should begin at verse 6. Since I cannot seem to stop being anxious and worrying, then I must begin on verse 8. By focusing my thoughts on verse 8, I can see no room for being anxious. Constantly casting all my cares on God through prayer will give me the peace of God………
If my eyes were looking up………..
Matthew 17:8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
Who or what is the one thing or person that personifies and is everything in verse 8?
I need to stop looking at my feet and start looking up to the Son………..