One of the biggest things people struggle with is expecting stability from a broken identity. An identity that is not rooted in the steadfastness of Christ, but in ever-changing things such as feelings and circumstance.
When our lives feel threatened, we revert straight back to old thought patterns of feeling worthless, unloved, and unwanted by becoming slaves to feelings of anxiousness, anger, and fear. We continue to assess God’s goodness by how our lives are going at any given time with the rise and fall of each success and failure that comes our way. We become desperate to hold on to relationships that make us feel valuable, and become devastated when they all of a sudden just aren’t there anymore and take that piece of our identity with them.
But feelings are fragile props. Only truth is solid, unchanging, and stable. When we find ourselves truly identifying ourselves with the truth of who God is and who He is to us, we find a stability beyond what feelings and circumstance could ever give us. The closer we align our truth with His, the more closely we truly identify with Him and find our fears being drowned in His perfect love.
As Lysa TerKeurst states in Uninvited, we need to stop flirting with the unstable things of this world such as feelings and circumstance so we can fall completely in love with Him. In order to do so, we need to root our identities to the answers to these three questions:
Is God good?
Is God good to me?
Do I trust God to be God?
It’s not enough to recognize God’s authority and control over your life. You have to truly believe that He is good, too. God saw all that He made in the Garden of Eden, the people, the animals, the surrounding landscape, and knew that it was good. But when Adam and Eve chose to sin by eating that which they were instructed not to, their sin tainted the goodness of all God had made. Because of this, the world is no longer a perfect reflection of God’s goodness. Natural disasters, cancer, and abuse were never a part of God’s good design. Sin shatters God’s heart, but it in no way affects His goodness. God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.
Now for a bit of a bigger fish to fry…can God truly be good to someone like me?
Even Christians find themselves struggling with this truth from time to time (for some, all the time, lol). When hard times come and the pain that comes with them just seems too much to bear, its easy to ask yourself, “Is God really being good to me in this?”
Romans 8:28 lets us know that God works for the good of those who love Him in all things. Not just the pretty, but the ugly too. Even if it doesn’t feel good, God can still use that situation for good. Our flesh may scream contrary to this at times, but the Holy Spirit continues to whisper to us the qualities of God’s inherent goodness. It is then, in our own spirits, that we realize that God truly is inherently good to us.
Once God’s goodness and His goodness towards us has been applied to our own identities, we can now tackle this last question…do I truly trust God to be God?
Isaiah 26:3 tells us that those who’s minds are steadfast from trusting the Lord will be kept in perfect peace. Our minds feast on what they focus on, and what they focus on ultimately becomes our truest identity. We must become content in not figuring out all of the whys and what-ifs, why bad things happen and why people leave. Choose to live life without the pressure to figure out your present circumstance. Instead, make the decision to let God sort all of that out. Sit quietly in His presence and ask for His truth to be the loudest voice in your life. Then, and only then, will your identity and very being resound with the truth that God is good at being God.
Forever thankful for God’s sweet identity theft of my heart.