Philippians 4 Lesson

The Power Of Positive Thinking!

Philippians Chapter 4 is an uplifting chapter that reminds us of the importance of positive thinking in the life of a Christian.

There are two things that God wants us to be focused on during our time on earth:

  1. Glorifying Him,
  2. Serving others.

Everything else is a distraction!

In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul wrote:

  • “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of goodrepute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.

FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE

As human beings, we have a lot of control over the conversation that goes on inside of our heads. If we want to focus on the negative, there is nothing to stop us. But that will only lead to stress and is not healthy for us physically, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually!

God wants His children to be positive thinkers. He does not want us to waste precious time worrying about what the sinners that are caught up in the pleasures and aspirations of the world are thinking about. As followers of Jesus, we are to set our minds on the things above, and not on the things of this world (Colossians 3:2). We can accomplish this by training our minds to think about things that are:

  1. True,
  2. Honorable,
  3. Right,
  4. Pure,
  5. Lovely,
  6. Of good repute,
  7. Excellent,
  8. And worthy of praise.

SCRIPTURES ABOUT POSITIVE THINKING

There is no place for negativity or pessimism in the heart of a Christian. Throughout the Bible, we read about how God wants His people to be positive, optimistic, and hopeful! And we have every right to be those things, because of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ! Consider the following four verses about the power of positive thinking and ask yourself what they mean to you.

  1. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” - Proverbs 17:22,
  2. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peaceof God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7,
  3. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” - Philippians 4:13,
  4. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” - Ephesians 4:31-32.

“SNIOP” AND PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM SATAN’S ATTACKS

The word “SNIOP” is an acronym, which stands for being Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Other People. Once we understand the types of thoughts that God wants us to have in our heads, we need to protect ourselves from outside influence.

The world is constantly telling us that greed, ambition, and lust are what we should be pursuing. Satan loves to create doubt and chaos, and if we are not careful, his attacks will get to us.

To protect ourselves against these outside influences, we need to put on the full armor of God. In Virtual Bible Study’s lesson from Ephesians 6, we discuss how Paul references six things that make up the full armor of God:

  1. Girding our loins with truth,
  2. The breastplate of righteousness,
  3. The Gospel of Peace,
  4. The shield of faith,
  5. The helmet of salvation,
  6. The sword of theSpirit, which is the Word of God.

To protect us during times ofadversity, God gives us:

  1. His Word,
  2. His Spirit,
  3. Our faith.

Our brains have a finite amount of space, like a computer. If we fill our minds with sinful and negative thoughts, our behavior will soon follow.

There is a famous quote that says:

  • “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu

Our thoughts matter and Satan understands this. The devil is constantly roaming the earth looking for somebody to destroy (1 Peter 5:8). If we do not protect ourselves against his attacks and focus on thinking positive, we are vulnerable and susceptible to his attacks.

CONCLUSION

As Christians, we should reflect the positivity and joy that comes from knowing that we are children of God and that He loves us! 

Our focus while on earth needs to be on glorifying God and serving others.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he writes:

  • “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.

When we think about these things and protect ourselves against negative attacks by putting on the full armor of God, we open the door to becoming the Christians that God created us to be.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture from the Book of Psalms:

  • “For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my formless substance; And in Your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” - Psalm 139:13-16.

Comments

Heather Ann

This passage has been one to wrestle with. We want to be true, live righteously, and know every moment we are saved by grace. It is a free gift we don't always see. We tend to become anxious at the first sign that something is going wrong. We head into places of despair before we run into God's loving arms.

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Heather Ann

This passage has been one to wrestle with. We want to be true, live righteously, and know every moment we are saved by grace. It is a free gift we don't always see. We tend to become anxious at the first sign that something is going wrong. We head into places of despair before we run into God's loving arms.

Reply
Drexel Deal

The following verses below stand out to me;
Philippians 4 6 & 7 
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. NKJV.

Now, according to the online dictionary it defines anxious as; feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome

When you look at it closely, the very meaning of the word anxious is in total opposition to the word of God. As found in 2nd Timothy 1: 7;
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” NKJV.

When you study the Bible carefully one will soon discover, that there are good reasons why we should not be anxious for anything. However, the chief reason is anxiety leads to depression. This is brought out in Proverbs 12: 25;
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
but a good word makes it glad.” NKJV.

Being anxious is a state of mind, it is as a result of our thoughts that have us worried, apprehensive, fearful, perturbed, stressed, disturbed, fretting, nervous, worked up, tense, jumpy and agitated which all leads to depression.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary the meaning of depression is:
: The state of feeling very unhappy and without hope for the future:

King Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes while he was depressed. Job found himself in a depress state, where he cursed the day he was born. After his two eyes were plucked out, Sampson was so depress, that he requested of God to let him die with the Philistines.

The key thing to keep in mind our feelings/ mood is a direct result of our thoughts. It was Abraham Lincoln who stated;
“Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

This is why the Apostle Paul admonished us to meditate on these good thoughts found in verse 8:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” NKJV.

If we could keep our minds on such good thoughts and taking delight in them, then we will always be in an upbeat mood in spite of the hell that is breaking out around us. This is also brought out in Proverbs 15: 13 & 15;
“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” NKJV.

Then in verse 15 king Solomon comes back and says;
“All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” NKJV.

It is now clear to see that our present feelings are as a result of our consistent thoughts. So, if we want to change our current feelings all we have to do is change what we are thinking about.

Reply
John B
Drexel Deal

Outstanding thoughts Drexel.

Thank you!

Reply
Debbie
John B

Thank you I’m going to try to keep this discussion on my mind when my thoughts go bad

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