Joyce Meyer (November-26-2022) Daily Devotional: Four Powerful Words.
One way the devil may try to keep you trapped in pain in your soul is by making you think you are missing out on something good you could have enjoyed had you not suffered the way you did. He may try to convince you that your life was destined to be wonderful before those painful events took place, but now that you have been wounded, it will not be as good as it might have been.
This scheme of the enemy usually starts with two words: If only. I had to learn to resist thinking and saying “if only” statements, even after I became a Christian. I wasted a lot of time thinking, Things are better for me now, but they would be even greater if only I had not been abused. I would not have some of the problems I have now if only I had a normal childhood with parents who loved me properly.
You may be thinking similar thoughts, which could include, If only my loved one had not gotten sick and passed away, I would be happy. Or, It would be so much easier for me to enter into new relationships if only So-and-So had not betrayed my trust and abandoned me. Maybe even as you are reading this, you can identify an “if only” thought specific to your situation or remember a time when you said, “If only….”
“If only” brings up negative thoughts and emotions and leads to negative confessions, so I want to suggest an alternative. Instead of “if only,” what if you were to think and speak the two positive words “but God”? Think for a moment about how that would change the way you see yourself and the way you view your life.
I encourage you today to find a “but God” statement to think about and speak. It could be, I had a very painful childhood, but God is healing me completely and restoring my soul, or I spent many years frightened, worried, and anxious, but God has given me peace, power, love, and a sound mind (see 2 Tim. 1:7). It might also be something like, Because of my past, I have never been able to look forward to the future, but God says He has good plans for me, and He gives me hope (see Jeremiah 29:11).
Proverbs 18:21 teaches us that the tongue is powerful. What we say can lead to life or death. And all of our words begin with our thoughts. I encourage you to watch out for negative thoughts and statements that include “if only,” and to think and say instead positive confessions that include “but God.” When you focus your thoughts and words on what God can do, His power will flow in your life in unprecedented ways.
Prayer of the Day: Thank You, Father, that through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can choose to change my words and speak more positively, amen.