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If Only I Had…

March 27, 2018

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. — Psalm 19:7–8

There’s a simple, yet incredibly dangerous little script many of us play in our minds. It might even be one of the biggest things that holds us back from feeling fulfilled in our relationship with God. It’s a script tangled in a lie that typically goes something like this: I could really be happy and fulfilled if only I had . . .

. . . . a skinnier body
. . . . more money
. . . . a better personality
. . . . a different job
. . . . a better relationship.

I don’t know what your “If only I had” statements are, but I do know this: none of them will bring fulfillment. They might bring temporary moments of happiness, but not true fulfillment. Apart from a thriving relationship with God, even if we got everything on our list, there would still be a hollow gap in our soul.

So instead of saying, “If only I had” and filling in the blank with some person, possession, or position, we must make the choice to replace that statement with God’s truth. Psalm 19:7–8 confirms just how powerful and beneficial the truth of God’s Word is: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”

Here are some examples that have helped me battle the temptation to let people, possessions, or positions take God’s place in my life.

People

I no longer say, “If only I had a daddy who loved me.” Instead, I say, “Psalm 68:5 promises God is a father to the fatherless.”

Maybe your gap isn’t left by an absent father but by a friend who hurt you. Or the children you’ve longed to have, and you still don’t. Whatever that gap is, God is the perfect fit for your emptiness.

Pray this paraphrase of Luke 1:78–79: “Because of the tender mercy of my God by which the rising sun will come to me from heaven—to shine on my darkness and in what feels like the shadow of death to me—I will find peace.”

Possessions

I no longer say, “If only I had more possessions.” Instead, I recite Matthew 6:19–21: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth and nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Any possession I ever long for, no matter how good it may seem, will only be good for a limited time. In light of eternity, every possession is in the process of breaking down, becoming devalued, and will eventually be taken from us. If I set my heart solely on acquiring more things, I’ll feel more vulnerable with the possibility of loss.

Possessions are meant to be appreciated and used to bless others. They were never meant to be identity markers. It’s not wrong to enjoy the possessions we have as long as we don’t depend on them for our heart’s security.

Position

I no longer say, “If only I had a better position.” Instead, I say the words of Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

I don’t need a better position to get where I should go. I don’t have to figure out my path and strive to get ahead. I need God’s Word to guide me. As I follow Him and honor Him step-by-step, I can be assured that I’m right where He wants me, to be doing what He wants me to do.

Whatever “If only I had” statement you’re struggling with, you can replace it with solid truths from Scripture that will never leave you empty.

When God’s Word gets inside of us, it becomes the new way we process life. It rearranges our thoughts, our motives, our needs, and our desires. Our soul was tailor-made to be filled with God and His truth; therefore, it seeps into every part of us and fills us completely.

Dear Lord, I acknowledge only You can fill those empty places in my heart. Help me stop the “If only I had” cycle and instead be set free with Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


If this blog post resonated with you, I’d love to invite you to find further biblical encouragement in my new devotional book: Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God is Holding You Close.

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  • Find freedom from the struggles that have held you hostage by learning new ways to experience God’s love.
  • Surrender your deepest hurts by processing them in a godly way with Lysa, a friend who understands your pain.
  • Hear the Lord speak intimately to your heart by learning how to seek His direction.
  • Release the tension of wondering, “If God is near, why does He sometimes feel far away?” by spending intentional, guided time with Him each day.

And today is the release day!! You can order your copy for yourself or for a friend here.

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20 Comments
  1. ree

    hi lysa, i am a subscriber and trying to get a copy of the full 31 verses personalized scripture box…

    can you please send me, thank you

    Reply
  2. Anthony (Tony) Shook

    Thank you for the reminder, Lysa. I have struggled to find meaningful work (and failed) because of a felony conviction for murder back in 1987 (I’ve been out of prison since 2011). Thankfully I have found purpose not only in being active in our local church family, but through volunteering with the USO-NC, the Battleship North Carolina and with the local chapters of both the DAV and USSVI (submarine veterans). Recently I was asked to ‘tell my story by sitting down with a reporter from WECT-TV here in Wilmington. It seemed like a good way to put a face to those like me who are ex-felons and especially a way for me to share my testimony.
    While I have received some positive feedback from many (some of whom were not aware of my ‘background’), but found out yesterday that my services as a volunteer would no longer be desired at the Battleship. The USO-NC is still supportive and thankful for my service, but it hurts to have my background deny me from even volunteering.
    God is on the throne and nothing has changed in that regard; I am hopeful that this (as with so much else) will be for my good. Thank you for your encouraging blog; for your insight into this journey Home.

    Reply
  3. Anthony

    There is a song by a famous Singer in Uk that became famous with many songs that began in late 60s – a man from Greek background parents called Cat Stevens who wrote deep meaniful songs throughout 70s in search of God but during his fame turned to be a Muslim and changed his name. One of his many songs was “Sad Lisa”…and because your soul is with our Father, it is alive and not just “a life”…Precious are you like your true colours come shining Through to myself, your beautiful followers. What is it for a man to have everything in this case Cat Stevens, many more who don’t receive Jesus? I am glad in me today not because My life has been or is lots of applause(s) but because My soul Jesus Rescues Everyday and so blessed to know there is many as you who can share The perfect Love of Jesus and nothing, nothing will suffice Him who endured and enjures our soul that so often during life has been wounded, shattered but was Him who gives Us ‘Beauty for Ashes’ and was always there in all The broken places, restoring Us like The Clay and The Potter, covering all The cracks so to be perfect to meet Him when our Journey here is complete. Bless you Lisa

    Reply
  4. nancy

    I pre-ordered the book and got my notification that it’s on its way! I should have it today or tomorrow and am excited to open it and start being blessed.

    Reply
  5. Pamela

    Simply, thank you.

    Reply
  6. Shirley Schuy

    my book arrived today, it is beautiful and I can’t wait to dig into the wise words that God has given to you Lysa.

    Reply
  7. ree

    I’m looking for a post form February 2013 with the 31 personalized scripture boxes…..can anyone send them to me? I would grately appreciate it. thanks.

    Reply
  8. Erin Cripple

    Hello Lisa. Thank you for what you wrote for today. It speaks so deeply to my heart right now in my present circumstances. I have been working at the same job for almost 7 years now. Many people ask me why I have never longed for more responsibility or a different title. I tell them that I am happy doing what I am doing and that God has placed me here for a purpose. Trying to shine a little of God’s light wherever and whenever I can! 🙂

    Reply
  9. Annette Welchert

    I so loved your message for today!! It was just what I needed to read and I will be printing it out, highlighting my favorite parts and taping it up where I can look at it frequently! You personalize scripture in such a wonderful way! Hallelujah, I get it!! Thank you Lysa! Keep on writing!

    Reply
  10. Nancy

    You have always spoke to my heart.
    My father walked out on my mother and I when I was 4 weeks old.
    I have always needed to feel loved but my husband of 50 years acts like it is his obligation , He has not hugged me for almost 2 years. or kisses me without my inciting it, He is the nicest guy in the world sometimes but moreoften he is just mad at everything
    I always felt that maybe it will get better but –?

    I admire you very much .

    Reply
  11. Barbara Churchill

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us Lysa!!! Your words & prayers keep pointing me to Jesus and His healing power of His Word – I am so grateful for the way you teach! May God continue to richly bless you and your ministry!!

    Reply
  12. Nate Hultz

    Wow! I have definitely struggled with my position. I have even asked God to rid our family of our debt. As much as it has hurt us (student loans, adoption loans, medical, and credit cards), I’m grateful God has humbled us through it because it has reminded us what we don’t want. We don’t want more money, we want to live a life that is honoring and pleasing to him. Through it, I have been desiring to be back into fulltime ministry and I am not there yet. This was a great reminder of how I need to view my circumstances with our Father. Thank you, Lysa. Good word!

    Reply
  13. Debbie

    Lysa just want to thank you for your encouragement and insight. I just finished Uninvited it was an amazing read I learned alot about myself, God’s promises. I follow you continually. It’s coming up on the anniversary of my son’s death 4/3. The promises that your share I will hold on to and declare. My God bless you you’re such a blessing.

    Reply
  14. Christy burroughs

    I purchased your new book yesterday and the first two have spoken to me so much. Thank you Jesus for giving you the words I needed to hear. I wanted to keep reading but am practicing self-control and taking one day at a time. Thank you for your embracing Love for God may He embrace you in everything you do. God bless🤗❤️🙏🙌

    Reply
  15. Connie

    Thank you!❤️

    Reply
  16. Janet Belzer

    Lisa
    Our bible study group gave our sister in Christ Jesus a copy of your new book and we all signed it at our study. Her husband died a tragic death. You are very favorite author. We told 8 it was from you and Jesus. She loves you both. Please pray for Pam OShea. She held your new book and her bible close to her heart all night. God bless you. Lisa. Jan Belzer

    Reply
    • Janet Belzer

      Excuse my old eyes. You are Pam’s very favorite author. She loves you and your writing and Jesus too

      Reply
  17. Susan clabby

    Lysa. Such a wonder filled ministry! Thanks so much for your postings, they are so timely and right on point. Blessings your way!

    Reply
  18. Grace

    “God is the perfect fit for your emptiness.” As someone who tends to try and fill the empty places with temporary things, or people.. I LOVE that. Thank you. <3

    Reply
  19. NIIKI PATTI

    moms prepare sons to be husbands so their wives do not have to be their moms; dads prepare daughters to be wives so their husbands do not have to be their dads. happy mother’s day and happy father’s day to all the dedicated stewards of God’s Love who make the cross easier to bear. cs women’s cornerstoneonline.com

    Reply
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