Philippians 4:8 - Conclusion
“…think about these things.”
Paul concludes this verse by commanding his readers to think. This word, “logizomai”, means to think, reckon, or take into account and deals with reality as opposed to conjecture. So Paul is commanding us to focus our thoughts on things that are real, namely what was already listed out.
- alēthēs – whatever is true
- semnos – whatever is honorable
- dikaios – whatever is just
- hagnos – whatever is pure
- prosphilēs – whatever is lovely
- euphēmos – whatever is commendable
- aretē – if there is any excellence
- epainos – if there is anything worthy of praise
When our minds are focused on Christ and the work He has done for us, on the Father and His love for us, and on the Spirit and His work in us, we can think about all of these things. Our thoughts will be something that we can control instead of them controlling us. We can be in a simple mundane circumstance, or a complicated stressful situation and still focus our thoughts on the God we serve.
At one point in Jesus life, He was walking on the water during a storm. His disciples saw him on the water, and Jesus told Peter to come out on the water with Him. “So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus” (Matthew 14:29). What an experience and privilege it must have been for Peter. But there came a point when Peter “saw the wind, he was afraid, and began to sink…” (v30). As that was happening, “he cried out, “Lord, save me” (v30). “Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”” (v31).
In our thought life, we can feel a lot like Peter – holding onto a boat for dear life during a storm. And yet Jesus calls us out of our comfort zones into a place where we can walk closely with Him. And even when that gets tough – even when we lose our spiritual focus – Jesus is right there to save us when we realize our need for and call on Him.
Do you struggle with your thought life? Of course you do. But as Christians, sometimes we’re tempted to say ‘no’ because we ‘aren’t supposed to struggle’. We think it makes us look as though we’re weak Christians when we say we struggle with focusing on Jesus and He is isn’t utmost in our thoughts. That is a lie and an affront to the Gospel that saves sinners. The Christian life is not one that is free of struggle, but one in which we have a Savior from our struggles. When we struggle with thinking about the things that scripture tells us to think about and our life begins to sink, Jesus is ready to take hold of us again and again. Like Peter sinking while standing right next to Jesus, those of little faith are brought back to the right focus.
In your personal walk with the Lord, in your times of enjoying His presence in community, in times of ease and in times of pain – keep your focus on Jesus and you will be able to overcome any storm.
“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.”