"... whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" ~ Philippians 4:8Here is a large, exceedingly brilliant "blue stone" verse, which, if it were observed by us all, would result in a calibre of faith that would change the world! Contrary to the often heard interpretation, by which followers of the "moonlight and roses" cults go about trying to declare that all things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report, Paul is being almost brutally realistic here.
Christianity deals entirely with reality. The Cross was real and the blood Jesus shed on it was real and tragedy is real and so are the pain and tears that follow it. No use dodging the issue; sin and suffering are here. God does not intend for us to distort the brilliance of this verse by attempting the entirely unrealistic and impossible method of declaring ugliness into beauty. You may be in a situation now where there is no beauty whatever. Only ugliness and pain and suffering and sin. How ridiculous to try to bend your mind out of shape by telling yourself it's all lovely! That's just what you will do if you try --- bend your mind out of shape. God is not saying that. He is realistic. He says, "if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, [then] think on these things." Perhaps in your situation there is some. Then think on those aspects of it. Psychologically, the advice in this verse is perfect. We should exercise our minds to think on a higher level. But, God faces facts and admits that in some instances, there is only ugliness and at times terror.
What then? Christ is still there and we can think on Him. He is true, honest, just, pure and altogether lovely. Everything about Christ is "of good report." Think on Him. Think on HIM.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee..."