Once as I was reading in Philippians 4:4-9 I noticed something I'd never noticed before. For a long time I had understood the truths of verses 4-7 - that I don't have to be anxious about anything. I simply need to present my requests to God, lay them at His feet, leave them there, and let Him take care of me. In doing so, He promised that I would know His peace and in fact, that the peace of God would guard my mind from negative thoughts, doubt, and despair.
But that day, for the first time ever, I kept reading through verse 9 and God showed me something amazing. If I allow Him to fill the empty places in my mind that were left there when His peace took away my anxiety, He would fill them with excellent things. I believe they will probably be thoughts about His goodness, His faithfulness; maybe reminders of times in my life when I saw no hope, but God came through miraculously. If I could just learn to concentrate on such praiseworthy things instead of my problems, that would lead to a change in my behavior. I would begin to put into practice the things that God taught me through other believers who had endured great suffering; believers like Paul through whom God wrote these very words to the Philippians.
And what happens at that moment is indeed a miracle - even greater than the peace of God. You see, what God promises in this case is not just His peace - it's Himself!! Verse 9 says that if we will think about praiseworthy thoughts and put what we have learned into practice, then we will experience the God of peace, not just the peace of God!! In the midst of the storms of life, we know we can experience peace. But we can experience even more - we can experience God. I don't ever want to miss that!! In the trials of my life, of course I want to see the peace of God at work, but more than that I want to see the God of peace at work in and through my trials.
The Guardian of My Mind
The storms of my life have carved out a river where flow the memories,
Of times oppressed, sorrows expressed, and untold tragedies,
On my own volition I would ignore the admonition,
to forget those things behind,
And the thoughts that would enter would be those that would hinder,
Were it not for the guardian of my mind.
The enemy stands watching when troubles come with no way out,
He supposes an advantage and flings his fiery darts of doubt,
And in those times I would be defeated, but for the hope I always find,
That also watching me securely is the guardian of my mind.
With each sorrow the enemy tells me - this one's different, you'll not survive,
And sometimes he nears a victory, hope seems only barely alive,
But the protector of my thoughts will win, He will forever remind,
That when I am weak, always stronger is the guardian of my mind.
So I can rejoice without anxiety even in times of near destruction,
And present petitions with thanksgiving, for that is God's instruction,
And when I do, a miracle takes place because I always find,
Troubles ignored and hope restored, for the peace of God is the guardian of my mind.
And as wonderful as that might seem, a even greater miracle can follow,
When troubles vanish He doesn't let my mind remain empty and hollow,
He fills it with things noble and pure, thoughts of the praiseworthy kind,
And when I think as He has taught, the God of peace becomes the guardian of my mind.
When trials and tribulations come and it seems my pain won't cease,
How wonderful it is to know His comfort and experience His peace,
But I don't want to stop with that, an even greater guardian I will find,
For hope in my future and release from the past,
God Himself must be the guardian of my mind.
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