Because we are (being) made in God’s image, we humans also have the capacity to think, to reason, and to mentally conceive. When we ‘think’ about it, we are really ‘thinking’ most all the time. Our thoughts cover everything from one end of the spectrum of life to the other. Scientists have difficulty understanding the operation by which the human brain processes information received through the senses.
The truth is, God knows all of our thoughts: He knows our “downsitting and uprising, and He understands our thoughts afar off.” I take that to mean that He knows our thoughts before we think them! “…He that forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares unto man what is his thought…Jehovah, the God of hosts, is His name.” (Ps. 139:2; Amos 4:13)
God tells us that His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts. (Isa. 55:8,9) And so we find that, at times, we need to “cast down our imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me, and know my thoughts.” (2 Cor. 10:5; Ps. 139:23)
Then we have the wonderful assurance and admonition in Phil. 4:6-8 which I love in the Weymouth Translation:- “Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading together with thanksgiving let your requests be unreservedly made known before God. So will the peace of God, which surpasses all power of thought, be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
This truth became very real to me 43 years ago when our second daughter was born. She had a slight hare lip and would need surgery to correct it. When I might have had thoughts of dismay and apprehension, as I read this passage I sensed that “peace of God” surrounding me like a bastion guarding my heart and mind from fear and worry.
The Living Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.” You know, worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it will get you nowhere!.
The Philippians passage continues: “Finally…whatever is TRUE, whatever wins RESPECT, whatever is JUST, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is of GOOD REPUTE – if there is any VIRTUE or anything deemed worthy of PRAISE – cherish the thought of these things.” - or - “THINK ON THESE THINGS.”
My favorite is : “Commit your works unto the Lord, and your thoughts shall be established.”
Another translation reads: “Roll your works onto the Lord, and He will set your thoughts in order.” (Proverbs 16:3) This really is a very practical and satisfying way to order your days.
A prayer to this end is earnestly expressed in the following hymn:
May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and pow’r controlling
All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His pow’r.
May the peace of God, my Father,
Rule my life in ev’rything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing -
This is victory.
Kate B. Wilkinson, 1859-1928
”Now the God of all HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE in the believing
that you may abound in HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In Agape, Eulene
P.S. Here is a relevant quotation from the well-known poet, Robert Louis Stevenson:-
“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened,
but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace -
like a clock during a thunderstorm.”