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Daily Devotional Philippians 4:4–9

A Christian counselor friend of ours once asked our small group that was gathered in his home: “If I told you to think about what you had for breakfast today, could you do it?” Of course, we all nodded. Then he asked, “What if I told you to feel happy on demand? Or sad, or angry? Could you do that?” Not surprisingly, we shook our heads and shrugged.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whateve hatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


He was making the point that we have greater control over our thought life than over our emotions. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can “set [our] minds on things above” (Col. 3:2). And when we do, our emotions— the fruit of the Spirit, joy and peace— often follow. But we can’t just muster up joy on a moment’s notice.

Paul makes a similar point in today’s passage. He exhorted the Philippians to several actions: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (v. 4). Be gentle or reasonable in the face of opposition (v. 5). Approach all situations with prayer and gratitude (v. 6). He also admonished them to think rightly. In a series of “whatever” statements, Paul listed different categories of thought for Christ followers to focus on. “Whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (v. 8). All of these good things come from God. “The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Ps. 24:1). We love God with our mind when we think of these good things and, therefore, meditate on Him.

Right actions and right thinking produce the same result: the peace of God. Tranquility. Freedom from anxiety (v. 6). This peace, which comes from God alone, surpasses our human understanding and protects our hearts and minds from fear (v. 7). It is evidence of His presence (v. 9).

Go Deeper

How can we experience God’s peace? What would right thinking look like in your life? What might you need to change to achieve this goal?

Pray with Us:

Lord, only with the help of Your Spirit can we “set [our] minds on things above” (Col. 3:2). Help us to think and live rightly, with Your peace in our hearts, loving You with all our souls and minds.

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