One of the great passages in the Bible on having peace of mind is in Philippians 4. Here are the keys:
- Make up your mind to be happy. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (v.4). Abraham Lincoln said a man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be. There are heartaches we can’t avoid, but there is great joy in the Lord if we will just choose it.
- Learn to yield to others. “Let your moderation be known unto all men” (v.5). This moderation means to be reasonable, fair, and gentle. If you insist on always having your way you will never be at rest inside.
- Don’t worry! “Be careful for nothing” (v.6). Don’t worry or be anxious. Worry is a choice. It is a habit, and a bad one at that. Worry is unproductive, harmful, and often unfounded. The devil wants you to worry. Jesus does not.
- Pray! Instead of wearing yourself out with worry, put your time into praying: “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thankgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (v.6). Remember and believe that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
- Be thankful. Let your prayers be made “with thanksgiving” (v.6). Don’t just ask God to help. Thank Him for what you have. Thank Him that things are not worse. This too is a choice and a habit of mind. There is enough sunshine in anyone’s life to brighten the way. All we have to do is notice it.
- Think about good things. Think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, truly beautiful, and of good report (v.8). What we dwell on is who we are (Prov. 23:7). Make up your mind to think on these things. Fill your heart with the Word of God and the hope of heaven.
- Be a doer of the Word. Put these things into practice every day. If we do them, the God of peace will be with us (v.9). To have true peace you must not only change your thinking. You have to change your life. Give your life fully to God.
- Be content. “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (v.11). Have you learned to be content? Paul even knew how to be content when he was hungry (v.12)! Don’t complain. You can never be at peace if you’re always wanting something else.
- You can do it! “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (v.13). By the grace of God Paul endured health problems, slander, beatings, and prison. Surely your situation is not worse than Paul’s.
Do these things, and “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (v.7). Put them on your “to do” list as you begin each day and you will end up a very rich person.
– Kerry Duke