I was sitting next to my daughter at bedtime and scary thoughts came into her mind when she was trying to fall asleep. Can you relate? Maybe you prayed but a short time later thoughts came back into your mind. So what can we do?

The apostle Paul just may have the answer for you in his letter to the church at Phillipi. If we look at Philippians 4:8 we see helpful instruction for ourselves today.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4: 8

Paul also tells us not to set our minds on things that are on earth.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2

Before we move forward, you may be wondering why a letter to the early church in Philippi applies to us. 2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us that all scripture is from God and is useful for us.

Let’s also remember that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16

Ok, so back to this golden nugget of help from Philippians 4. If you’re lying in bed unable to sleep, or sitting somewhere with your mind dwelling on unhelpful or unpleasant things, we have instruction on what to think about instead. Thank you, Jesus!

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4: 8

Verse 8 is a great one to memorize . It has been hard to me to memorize, however, so I look it up often and think about each word.

Think about whatever is true. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Think about Jesus, what you know about Him, and what the Bible says about him. Remember that Jesus loves you. What a gift!

Think about whatever is noble. When I think about the word noble, an image of a knight comes to mind. Knights were noble because they were protectors. God is our protector.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:2

Next, we are instructed to think about whatever is right.

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.

Psalm 33:4

As Christians, we know we can turn to the Bible to find the answers to many of our questions. The Bible teaches us right from wrong. We can pray and thank God for giving us the Bible. We learn right from wrong as we study the Bible daily.

God is right and will judge between right and wrong.

And the heavens will tell how right and good He is, for God Himself is judge.

Psalm 50:6

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.

Isaiah 33:22

How else do we know that God is right? Because God has written it on our hearts. Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature have been clearly understood through God’s creation so that no one is without excuse.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Romans 1:18-20

The author of everything right is God. The author of sin and unrighteousness is satan. So, we can thank the Lord that he is sitting on his throne, ruling with all power, authority, and righteousness.

Next, think about whatever is pure.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17

James 1:17 tells us that God does not change. He is constant. There are no shadows or variation due to change. It also tells us that every good and perfect gift is from God. There are no defects, flaws, or changes.

The words of the Lord are pure, his eyes are pure, and His wisdom is pure.

The words of the Lord are pure words;
As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.

Psalm 12:6

Your eyes are too pure to approve evil.

Habakkuk 1:13

But the wisdom from above is first pure…

James 3:17

Next, think about whatever is lovely. God’s love for us is lovely. He’s loves us unconditionally as our good Father. How about if we think about Heaven? From how it is described in the Bible, it will be more lovely than we can imagine.

18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.[f]21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

Revelation 21:18-21

Now think about what is admirable.

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