. . . whatever is pure, whatever is lovely . . .
Years ago, when I was in music ministry, my pastor asked me to find a piece of music to feature for his sermon on Philippians 4:4-9. I read the passage, which is an encouragement to think upon God’s goodness. But it didn’t really emotionally connect with me at that moment. I searched for a piece of music that I could use and found a song by Michelle Wagner called Whatever Is Lovely. In those days, there was no way to buy pre-recorded backing tracks, so I spent the better part of a week creating a track and listening over and over to her interpretation of Philippians 4:4-9. For me, there’s something about the power of music that emotionally connects us to the word of God. Music can touch us at a very deep level. For me, the lyrics of this song do just that. They encourage rather than implore me to focus on the goodness of God‘s grace and blessings. “In our anxious days there is a lamp to light our pathway. We will see all our troubles and cares through different eyes if we look at them through God‘s eyes.” God always remains in control, and we will find there’s a way of peace through his words of life.
The difficult part is we have to choose to focus on His goodness. I have learned in my life that there are only four things we can control: our thoughts, our words, our actions, and our interpretations. The first three are pretty self-explanatory, but the most complex of the four is very important to understand. We can choose to interpret God‘s word in ways that either suit our own purposes or that let us fuel anger toward God if he has “done something that’s a disappointment us.“ This is where interpretation is so important, because God is noble, pure, excellent and worthy of our praise. We should be thinking on these things. His word and His words it will lead us to more contentment and less frustration with the short -term setbacks of this life.
We control so few aspects of life. Choose to embrace the infinite goodness, nobleness, loving, and lovely qualities of God. And then think upon these things.
Whatever Is Lovely, Michelle Wagner. CCLI # 824948