If I had to select two words to describe this present age, it would be “information overload”. There is so much going on in the world that is heavy, heartbreaking, and horrendous. On top of that, our personal lives have not gotten easier to accommodate the current events. We are still struggling with financial worries, mental and physical health issues, family problems, etc. It’s a year we’ve been kicked while we are down. Paul knew what that felt like. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV).
He wouldn’t have given this advice to the church in Philippi and subsequently the world, without practicing it himself. He sang praises from jail cells after having been beaten and tortured. The secret to finding the capacity to dwell on the good things in the midst of the bad, the secret to praising in the storm, is simply knowing that your God has already overcome it. You already have victory over it. Whether it be in this life or the next, no chains on this earth can hold you forever.
Your mind is trainable and teachable. The brain is yet another beautiful and amazing creation. Neural pathways are created by repetitive thoughts you think. When we meditate on the things of the Lord consistently, it creates pathways in our minds and our subconscious thought process will always return to that place. Likewise, when we consistently dwell on the things of the Lord, old pathways that used to be our main thought processes, negative pathways, lies from the enemy that we believed, they become less and less used until they are no longer a used neural pathway! Simply following the advice of Paul in Philippians 4:8 can bring about peace to our turmoil, and bring about restoration in our mind. Hallelujah!
I challenge you this week to create those new pathways. Meditate on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, and lovely. Study God’s word every day. Remind yourself in the midst of all of your storms that God is still in control, and He still has the victory! I am not saying we should ignore our problems or current events. We need to pray for all of these things and be informed, but we don’t have to allow anything to influence our hearts and minds, we don’t have to allow anything to steal the joy and hope and peace we have in Christ Jesus. While we don’t always get instantaneous miracles or healing, we do always get a portion of the victory immediately by maintaining our hope and peace in the midst of every storm because He has already overcome and He will get us through.