In this moment, I will choose to “think on these things”.
In the midst of chaos – when I’m feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and frustrated about these circumstances, I will choose to “think on these things”.
Lord, when fear overwhelms me, I will let go of the “what-ifs”, meditate on your precepts, consider your ways (Ps. 119:15), and “think on these things”.
First and foremost, I choose to think about what is true.
God, YOU are truth (John 14:6). In your Word, the ultimate truth (John 17:17), you said that I have been given a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7), I’ve been given wisdom (Eph. 1:8), and I’ve been given power over the enemy (Luke 10:19).
When worries about tomorrow arise, I choose to dismiss them. I will not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself (Mat 6:34). But God – YOU are my refuge and strength – an ever-present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1). You didn’t say you would be my help for the un-truths I’ve dreamt up about the future, but you said you would be my present help for today - for the reality of the trouble that exists today. So Lord, I will lean on you and trust you today. This is truth.
Next, I choose to think about what is “noble”.
Your throne is noble, and I acknowledge that you are the only one seated on the throne (Rev. 4:2) – the one true living God. When I feel controlled by the obsessions of the world or things that have stepped onto the throne in my mind, I recognize that this has happened, and I envision you on your throne. Right now, I enter that throne room and sit at your feet. There is safety here and I sit, breathe, and just be in your presence. I want to be closer than close to you.
Like David, I will meditate on your commandments, which I love and cherish. (Ps. 119:48).
When fear of persecution overwhelms me, I will think about the most noble thing you did – humbling yourself, robing yourself in flesh, and taking on the form of a servant (Phil 2:7) … for me. This is grace. This is truth. This is love. You are love. I chose to think about your nobility today.
Next, I chose to think about what is “just” – what is “right”. Your justice is like a river, your righteousness like a never-failing stream (Amos 5:24). When there is justice, it brings joy to the righteous (Prov. 21:15). Lord, let me be righteous, even in trying times – give me the wisdom to understand what is right (Prov. 28:5). And when I fail, I lean on your compassion. Your word says that you long to be gracious to me – that I will weep no more if I turn to your grace when I cry for help. I cry for help in this present moment. As soon as you hear, you will answer me (Is. 30:18-19). You are answering me. This is just.
Next, I chose to think about what is “pure”.
As I place my hope in you, I am able to become pure, because you are pure (1 Jn. 3:3). Your words are pure, like silver refined in a furnace (Ps. 12:6); gracious words are pure (Prov. 15:26), your commandment is pure and it enlightens my eyes (Ps. 19:8). Your wisdom is pure; it is gentle, reasonable, and overflowing with mercy and blessings (Ja. 3:17). Don’t let me be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to you (2 Cor. 11:3). Today, I strive for peace and holiness (Heb. 12:14), the pure water of your cleansing – let it flow over me. Let it flow through me. Let it flow from me. This is pure.
Next, I choose to think about what is “lovely”.
When bleak situations arise and I feel miserable, let me be reminded that my delight is in your law, and in your law I choose to meditate day and night (Ps. 1:2). As I choose to delight myself in your law right now, I will focus on the fruit that comes from my tree, planted by the rivers of water (Ps. 1:2) – even if I don’t see that fruit yet – you’ve promised it in my season – oh, what a season that will be!
As I sit here and meditate on your words, I am reminded of how lovely they are. They are sweet – sweeter than drops of honey to my lips (Ps. 119:103). This is lovely.
Next, I choose to think about what is of “good report”. Lord, you know that lately, I hear report after report after report. And you know the worries I have because of these reports: worries about my health and the health of my loved ones, worries about the economy, worries about canceled events, worries about food, shelter, and supplies. Worries about being isolated and going stir-crazy.
But, Lord – I choose to focus on the good report. I choose to believe the report that says, you died and were buried, but you rose again to redeem these people – to redeem me. You didn’t stop there though – you sent us comfort – you poured out your spirit like a mighty, rushing wind (Acts 2:2) and I’ve received that same spirit. Because of this gift you’ve given to me, to my children, and to all that are afar off (Acts 2:39), I have a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3), I have an anchor to my soul (Heb 6:19), I have power to witness (Acts 1:8), I have faith as a grain of mustard seed (Luke 17:6), and I have peace (Romans 5:1). Wow. This is a good report.
Next, I choose to think about what is virtuous. Your law is virtuous – oh, how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day (Ps. 119:97). Let it always be on my lips and let me meditate on it day and night. I choose not only to think about it, but to act upon it. This is your recipe for prosperity and success (Josh 1:8).
Finally, I choose to think about what is “praiseworthy”.
If I’m sleepless in bed, I will spend the hours in grateful reflection (Ps. 63:6). Sometimes, I yearn for answers to the unknown or let my mind wander into thinking that you have forgotten me. I choose to remember the miracles you’ve done throughout history during these times – the miracles you’ve done in my life – the miracles you’re doing today – and sing praises to you for your mighty acts (Ps. 77:12). I am anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with a spirit of thanksgiving, I simply share my requests with you (Phil 4:6).
I cast my anxiety on you because you care for me (1 Pet. 5:7) – you care deeply for me. And you are big enough to hold it. This heavy weight that makes it hard for me to even function – in this moment, I reach over my head, I muster up the courage and strength to grab hold of it and I hand it to you – the God of the universe – the God that made every star, every grain of sand, and the God who made me. I choose to trust you.
As I allow you to renew me in the spirit of my mind (Eph 4:23), I feel transformed (Rom. 12:2).
I am encouraged. This is my confidence. This is my meditation. This is my hope.
I will think on these things.