Grace and Peace!

I’ve experienced some losses during these past few years.  At the time, I wasn’t aware of how much I was grieving.  Naturally you would think of grieving as losing a loved one or perhaps going through a divorce, but you can grieve when you feel that something has been taken from you without your control.

One problem that we go through when we are feeling grief is replaying over and over in our minds the person or situation that we’ve gone through.  This could be a good or bad experience we’ve felt, but it’s when you can’t see, feel or think about anything but what you’ve lost.  There are even times that you feel everybody knows you’ve lost something without you telling them.  It seems the whole world knows. When your mind is replaying these experiences it can affect your body as well.  You may feel like you won’t, can’t or don’t want to go on anymore.

But as Children of God, we need to have confidence in God’s Words for our life.  Knowing that He will replace and fill the void in our life with joy, peace and contentment.  When we experience any type of grief we must understand that God has a purpose.  God has a plan that can be accomplished through our grief.  And sometimes He doesn’t reveal this plan right away.

So how do we stay focused on God during our grief?

First, we have to change our thoughts.  Our minds tends to replay and often drift without us even being aware.  But if we purpose ourselves at the beginning of the day to think on the things of the Lord, it will help us realign and readjust our feelings. The Bible states in Philippians 4:8-9 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. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

I love Phillipians 4:8-9 because when we focus on the things that God specifically states that will give us peace, we will be with the God of peace.  So when your mind begins to take you to a place you know will lead in you feeling bad, begin to think on things that are

True means not false or unreliable, but genuine and real.
Noble means honorable or morally attractive.
Just means righteous, both toward God and man.
Pure would refer to the high moral character of a person’s life.
Lovely has the idea of that which is admirable or agreeable to behold or consider.
Of good report has also been translated “of good repute” or “fair sounding.”
Virtue, of course, speaks of moral excellence; and
Praiseworthy, something that deserves to be commended.

Whatever is true. Dr. Walter Cavert reported a survey on worry that indicated that only 8 percent of the things people worried about were legitimate matters of concern! The other 92 percent were either imaginary, never happened, or involved matters over which the people had no control anyway. Satan is the liar (John 8:44), and he wants to corrupt our minds with his lies (2 Cor. 11:3). “Yea, hath God said?” is the way he approaches us, just as he approached Eve (Gen. 3:1ff). The Holy Spirit controls our minds through truth (John 17:17; 1 John 5:6), but the devil tries to control them through lies. Whenever we believe a lie, Satan takes over!

Whatever is honest and just. This means “worthy of respect and right.” There are many things that are not respectable, and Christians should not think about these things. This does not mean we hide our heads in the sand and avoid what is unpleasant and displeasing, but it does mean we do not focus our attention on dishonorable things and permit them to control our thoughts.
 
Whatever is pure, lovely, and of good report. “Pure” probably refers to moral purity, since the people then, as now, were constantly attacked by temptations to sexual impurity (Eph. 4:17–24; 5:8–12). “Lovely” means “beautiful, attractive.” “Of good report” means “worth talking about, appealing.” The believer must major on the high and noble thoughts, not the base thoughts of this corrupt world.
Whatever possesses virtue and praise. If it has virtue, it will motivate us to do better; and if it has praise, it is worth commending to others. No Christian can afford to waste “mind power” on thoughts that tear him down or that would tear others down if these thoughts were shared.
If you will compare this list to David’s description of the Word of God in Psalm 19:7–9, you will see a parallel. The Christian who fills his heart and mind with God’s Word will have a “built-in radar” for detecting wrong thoughts. “Great peace have they which love Thy Law” (Ps. 119:165). Right thinking is the result of daily meditation on the Word of God.

What helps me to keep my mind focused on God is not only reading His Word daily, but having examples of what’s true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue and praiseworthy ALREADY handy.  This way I’m not fishing for something to replace those unwanted thoughts.  By doing this, before long you will replace those uncomfortable thoughts with thoughts of peace, love and joy.

(Some excerpts from The Bible exposition commentary
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