In a recent post, I wrote about the changes that came after a botched surgery on my knee. I shared how I had a sense of loss of identity, as I could no longer do the things I’d done before. Having established my view of who I was on the basis of what I could do, I found myself in trouble spiritually as I grappled with the question, “Who am I now that I’m not who I thought I was?” This struggle led me to some key truths that I learned about my identity. Today, I’d like to share just a few of those truths with you. My prayerful hope is that you will find these things encouraging if you are in the midst of a similar struggle.
Where Do You Find Your Identity? Part 2
If life has changed dramatically for you, never to be the same again, you are probably reeling, uncertain what to do or where to go from here. You know that you were created to bring glory to God, but you don’t see how you can do that in your present condition. The truth is, my dear sister, you can bring glory to God in any condition He sovereignly ordains for you, no matter how unwelcome it may be in your view. This truth will never change.
Your identity hasn’t changed, either. You may feel incomplete as you are now, but God says you are complete in Him.
Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete expression of himself (within the physical limits that he set himself in Christ). Moreover, your own completeness is only realized in him, who is the authority over all authorities, and the supreme power over all powers. (Col 2:9-10, Phillips)
You may be disappointed, but God’s promises are yours, and will never disappoint. Here are just a few of those promises to encourage you:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Rom 8:28)
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:9-10)
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps 27:1)
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Ps 50:15)
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Rev 3:5)
Do you think you will never be happy again? God promises contentment in Christ to those who will submit to His will.
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:12-13)
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
God does not give us commands that he doesn’t intend to enable us to do, so you can be sure that contentment is possible, even for you, even now.
Has your present circumstance caused you to question God’s goodness? God has not changed, but perhaps your view of Him needs to.
Do you think he’s not loving because of what has happened to you? He is loving.
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved… (Eph 2:4-5)
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
Do you think He is unjust because He allowed this? He is not.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 30:18)
Do you believe that this circumstance changes who you are? It does not.
You are still a child of God.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name… (John 1:12)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor 5:17)
You are still able to be content in all circumstances.
…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)
You are still a holy partaker of a heavenly calling.
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end… (Hebrews 3:14)
You see, the things that are eternal have not changed. You need to understand that the things that matter are not the facts about your circumstances, but the truth about their purpose. All things, including your current trial, are designed by God for your good and His glory. This is the key.
You were created to glorify God. How are you doing right now?
Begin to think this way as you journey through your life changing circumstance, and your feelings and responses will line up behind it.