Allowing ourselves to do deep thinking about Godly, spiritual, virtuous, and heavenly things, under the direction of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit, can redirect our thinking from unhealthy and destructive thoughts to peaceful, healthy, and healing meditations. Philippians 4:8 is exercise for the mind and heart. “Whatever things are true . . . noble . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely . . . of good report . . . and any virtue . . . and anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.”
John Dryden, a 17th century English poet, wrote, “Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow; he who would search for pearls must dive below.” Too often, our thoughts are puerile and shallow. As believers in an amazing God, can we not search the depths of all He has done to ponder more than is seen on the surface?
Let’s think more deeply about “things that are lovely.” One direction we can take is to imagine scenes from the Bible. What are some lovely moments in the stories of God’s work with His people? What events come to mind? Imagine those pleasing, wonderful, lovely snapshots in history. Quickly, write down a few scenes you will spend time pondering.
Here is a lovely picture. I see Ruth in lush fields of grain following behind the reapers and gathering what is left. Boaz, the owner of the field where Ruth is gleaning, arrives greeting his laborers. Then, he notices Ruth and says, “whose young woman is this?” With the entire story in mind, that moment is a lovely one. God is at work. Meditate on the mercy, grace, blessing, promise, and joy that permeates the picture.
Did you ever have a Bible that had picture pages scattered through it? Those pictures helped us to imagine. Many of them were lovely to look at as we took in every detail given by the artist. There were pictures of Daniel at rest among ferocious lions, Jacob dreaming of the stairway to heaven, David playing his harp before the throne of Saul, Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a manger, and yes the lovely picture of our Savior on the cross.
Do you have some time to meditate on these things?