I think, therefore I am. Thus reasons man. But the Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are vain (I Cor. 3:20). God is not in all his thoughts (Ps. 10:4). Man’s thoughts are an abomination unto the Lord (Prov. 15:26). The thoughts of his heart are evil continually (Gen. 6:5). His thoughts are of iniquity, and evil against the righteous every day (Is. 59:6; Ps. 56:5). Man thinks his name will continue for ever (Ps. 49:11). He thinks he can escape the judgment of God (Rom. 2:3). But he knows not the thoughts of the Lord (Mic. 4:12). And all his thoughts shall perish at death (Ps. 146:4). As he thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7).
Since God knows and judges our thoughts, Scripture also exposes evil thoughts in the church that actually oppose the kingdom of God (II Chr. 13:8). Jesus, being God, knew the hidden thoughts of those who opposed Him. He condemned the wickedness of the Jews who thought they were children of God because they were children of Abraham (Matt. 3:9), who thought that studying the Scriptures alone could save them; and who thought that Moses would approve of them (John 5:39, 45). They thought Jesus guilty of blasphemy and worthy of death (Mark. 14:64). And later, thought they did God’s work even as they killed God’s own children (John 16:2).
Members of the church have thought many foolish things. The rich fool thought much about a long life of ease but never about dying that night (Luke 12:1). Simon thought the Holy Spirit could be bought (Act 8:20). Peter thought Jesus needed his protection (Matt. 25:53). Some thought it unlawful to pay taxes, that Jesus came only to bring peace, or that His kingdom would immediately appear (Matt. 22:17; 10:34; Luke 19:11). Others thought their spirit wasn’t prone to envy, or thought they could receive from God what they asked in unbelief (James 4:5; 1:6).
Scripture, therefore, warns us against many thoughts to which we are prone. Being proud, we are exhorted not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3); to think we are something when we are nothing (Gal. 6:3); to think that we know everything (I Cor. 8:2); or to think more than what is written (I Cor. 4:6). Being weak, we are not to think we are free from the danger of falling (I Cor. 10:12). Being Christ’s, we are not to think that we are alone in suffering trials (I Pet. 4:12). And being well cared for by Christ, we are to take no thought about tomorrow, and to take no thought for our life, about what to eat, what to drink, or about our body, what to put on (Matt. 6:25; 34).
Scripture also acknowledges, commends, and urges us to good thoughts. The Lord who understands the imaginations of our thoughts, declares that the thoughts of the righteous are right (I Chr. 28:9; Prov. 12:5). He promises that when we commit our works unto Him, our thoughts will be established (Prov. 16:3). By God’s grace, we think upon His name (Mal. 3:6) and, in His temple, think upon His lovingkindness (Ps. 48:9). And rather than think on what is false and corrupt, unjust and unholy, ugly and evil—which things too easily occupy our thoughts—the Lord exhorts us to think on whatsoever is true and honest, is just and pure, is lovely and good, and whatsoever is of virtue and praise (I Cor. 13:5; Phil. 4:8).
Especially amazing and comforting are God’s thoughts. His thoughts are very deep (Ps. 92:5). What He thinks shall come to pass (Is. 14:24). We can think to do evil, but God means it for good to His own (Gen. 50:20). His thoughts are not our thoughts (Is. 55:8). And Christ, who being in the form of God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, is able to do exceedingly more than we think (Eph. 3:20). He understands our thoughts and declares unto man his thought (Ps. 139:2; Amos 4:13). His thoughts toward us cannot be numbered (Ps. 40:5). Our Lord thinks upon us for good (Neh. 5:9). He thinks upon the poor and needy (Ps. 40:17). He thinks peace toward us, not evil (Jer. 29:11). And in deep love, merciful grace, and exceeding power, He brings into captivity our every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5). What a thought!