If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
As we have been going through Philippians as a church, I have been thinking a lot about where I focus my mind. As we study though Philippians, I see Paul living out the instruction he gave the Colossian church: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Paul had joy whether he was free or whether he was locked in a jail cell. Paul didn’t just come by this easily; it is a mindset that takes effort. He would tell the Philippian church later that he learned to be content in whatever state he found himself. Paul learned this, which indicates struggle and growth. It was not that Paul was a “Super-Christian” who was just easily able to endure hardship. He learned how to be content; he learned how to have joy.
He learned this by setting his mind on Christ and not on the things of earth. This is something I have been thinking through quite a bit this weekend with my family. Setting our mind on eternal things does not mean we do not enjoy the good gifts God gives us here on earth. However, we cannot set our hope and joy on these things. It can be easy to take what God has given us to enjoy and begin to make those things and/or people the main focus of our life. However, our focus and joy needs to be on Christ. Why? Because as Paul tells the Colossians, we have died to our former life, and our life is now hidden or kept with Christ. He is our life now.
Knowing this and reminding ourselves of this enables us to live through difficult times. This truth enables us to stay grounded when things are going better than we can imagine. We can be tempted to take our focus off of Christ when things are bad, or when things are really good. Yet, wherever we find ourselves, we need to remind ourselves that Christ is our life. He is our life, and we are kept with Him until He returns. No matter where you find yourself today, remind yourself to set your mind on Christ.