The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 (NKJV)
If we want to experience the peace and presence of God, we need to follow Jesus’ example.
When the devil comes against us with thoughts to try and steer us off course into ruin, Paul instructs believers in Philippians 4:8 to put those thoughts to the test. If they don’t pass the test of being true as well as noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy, we are not to focus on them.
Let’s say someone’s wronged you, and you’re convinced and have proven it’s true. Does that mean you’re allowed to focus on it? No, it doesn’t. Even if something is true, it needs to pass the next test after that. Is it a noble thought? If it’s not a noble thought, we’re not to focus on it. Is it righteous thinking? We may think, well, this is not gossip; I know it happened. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. We aren’t to focus on it.
Is there a pureness about it? Is it something that’s lovely, meaning friendly towards? Is it of a good report? Or is the enemy trying to lure you into a place where your words start destroying people, or where the things you’re thinking are breaking you down?
Is it virtuous or morally good? It’s fine–even important–to be aware of situations and people, and you might have to deal with things personally, but if you focus your life on negativity, you give it the reins to your future.
Instead, follow Jesus’ example: meditate only on things that pass these tests, and enjoy the peace of God!