Isaiah 30-31 Philippians 4
“Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. Do what you learned and received from me, what I told you, and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 NCV)
If we wanted to dwell on the problems of the world, we could spend a long time and take a journey to despair. I think Paul recognized that. That’s why he called on the Philippians to think about the good things in life. I believe that Paul wanted the Philippians to shift their focus from the problems of the world to start looking at the solution. Problems aren’t solved by griping and complaining. The problems of the world are solved when God gets involved directly or through His people. If God’s people are so wrapped up in the evil things happening in the world that they can’t recognize the good that He created, our anguish will cause us to miss the chance to solve the problem. Paul understood that God cares more about solutions than bemoaning the problems.
The story of Mr. Rogers teaching kids how to deal with tragedies is a great example of this attitude. His message to kids (of all ages) is that when tragedy strikes, look for the helpers. In the ugliness that permeates this world, we need to look for the good things of God. When God’s present, even the worst situations have something good about them. In the worst situations, God’s people can bring His presence, His beauty, and His love as they minister to hurting people. When God’s people act under God’s leadership, they provide solutions to problems, even if that only solution is to be there to comfort. Paul’s reminder to us, then, calls us to seek God in any and every situation, and then to be His presence to people who are hurting and grieving. The result of seeking God in the midst of the bad will be peace in our hearts. The result of being the presence of God to others in their distress will be to bring God’s peace to their troubled soul.
Lord, everything about You is good and worthy of praise. You are true, honorable, right, pure, and respected. Help me to seek You in the worst of situations. Empower me to act as Your ambassador as I minister to those who are hurting in difficult times.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.