Fri. May 29th, 2020

Thoughts of Joy

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

In What We Keep, a collection of interviews by Bill Shapiro, each person tells of a single item that holds such importance and joy that he or she would never part with it.

This caused me to reflect on the possessions that mean the most to me and bring me joy. One is a simple forty-year-old recipe card in my mom’s handwriting. Another is one of my grandma’s pink teacups. Other people may value treasured memories—a compliment that encouraged them, a grandchild’s giggle, or a special insight they gleaned from Scripture.

What we often keep stashed away in our hearts, though, are things that have brought us great unhappiness: Anxiety—hidden, but easily retrieved. Anger—below the surface, but ready to strike. Resentment—silently corroding the core of our thoughts.

The apostle Paul addressed a more positive way to “think” in a letter to the church at Philippi. He encouraged the people of the church to always rejoice, to be gentle, and to bring everything to God in prayer (Philippians 4:4–9).

Paul’s uplifting words on what to think about helps us see that it’s possible to push out dark thoughts and allow the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (v. 7). It’s when the thoughts that fill up our minds are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy that we keep His peace in our hearts (v. 8).

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

What unwelcome thoughts have stubbornly taken residence in my mind and heart? What’s one way I can daily fill up my mind with good things?

Guide my thoughts this day, O God, as You hold my heart and life in Your care.