Philippians 4. Forum Discussion

God wants us to be positive thinkers

If you are looking for an uplifting chapter that is filled with positivity, then Philippians 4 is for you!

As Paul finishes his letter to the Philippians, he reminds them to put positive thoughts in their heads. He writes in Philippians 4:8:

“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.”

As human beings, we have a lot of control over the type of internal dialogue that goes on in our heads. If we want to focus on the negative, nothing is going to stop us. That type of thinking is not healthy for us and it is not what God wants us to do.

The things that God wants us to be thinking about are found in Philippians 4:8. Paul’s inspired words tell us that God wants us to focus on those things that are:

  • True
  • Honorable
  • Right
  • Pure
  • Lovely
  • Of good repute
  • Excellent
  • And worthy of praise.

Just reading those words can lift our spirits. As Christians, we believe in Jesus and we have the hope of eternal life in heaven. That is something to rejoice about!

In Philippians 4:4-7, Paul writes:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.  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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Let us take the above scripture and break it down further. Paul is encouraging the Philippians (and us) to:

  1. “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Rejoice means to be glad and full of Joy. Knowing that God loves us and sent His Son to give us a path to heaven is certainly reason to be glad and full of Joy.
  2. “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.” The world tells us to be tough and to put ourselves first. The Bible tells us to put others needs ahead of our own and that the meek will inherit the earth. (Philippians 2:3 and Mathew 5:5). As we obey God and not the world, others will notice our behavior and that could pave the way for a Bible study or a discussion about faith. As it says in Mathew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
  3. “Be anxious for nothing.” God is going to provide everything that we need. Jesus said in Mathew 6:25-34, “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
  4. “Let our requests be made known to God.” 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

It is important for us to stay in God’s word so that the world does not beat us down with its negativity.

One of the keys to our happiness on earth is to learn to be content in whatever situation we are in. Paul’s life was a difficult life. He suffered many hardships while serving the Lord, yet he remained upbeat and focused on serving God. His words are encouraging to read and filled with hope and joy. How was Paul able to do that?

Because of his faith.

Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” If we want to have a strong faith, we must be in God’s word often.

If somebody that you know is having trouble with their faith, encourage them to study God’s word more. Or better yet, offer to study with them. It doesn’t need to be a huge commitment, it can be something as little as reading one chapter of the Bible every day, thinking about what that chapter means, and then challenging ourselves to act based on what we have learned. When we do that, we will see God working in our lives and our faith will grow.

Faith in Jesus is what saves us, and we grow our faith through studying the word of God.

As it says in Ephesians 2:8:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Let us give thanks to God for His amazing grace and to Jesus for His redeeming blood!

Thank you for joining us today. This concludes our study on the book of Philippians. Please join us again tomorrow as we begin a 28-day study on the Gospel of Mathew. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

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.

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

Reply
Virtual Bible Study

1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Does that mean that God will give us everything that we ask for?

Reply
John
Virtual Bible Study

The answer is no.

Reply
Dan
John

In the short run, gods answer may be a simple no. Over the long run and looking back over time, we often see the Lord answered in an amazing and a different way. However he answers, we know that all works together for good for those that love Him Romans 8:28.

Reply