Over the past several days there has been a main focus or subject that has come up over and over again in every conversation that I have had with any of my Christian friends. It is the subject of IDENTITY. We discussed matters like who we are in Christ and what does it mean to be new and born again or (our “Born Identity” as I like to refer to it *giggle*). The most widely discussed of these all week has been feeling insecure and self-conscious of what others think of us and admitting there are times that we began to feel uncomfortable about the way we are being perceived by others.
We’ve chosen to walk the path of Christ and we were warned the road would not always be easy. We’ve heard the war stories of the battles fought by those who chose this Way long before we did. Basically He never promised us a rose garden, but we were promised one Rose that would be the beauty, when we find that we are walking in the valley of the shadow of death. The Scripture says, “I am a Rose of Sharon, a Lily of the valleys.” (Solomon 2:1) We knew going in that this was no cake walk, but He did promise to give us Bread that not only satisfies hunger; it quenches thirst: Then Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life . He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)
There will be times as we grow into a deep intimately more committed relationship with Jesus that God will direct us to go to places or to a task that we may not understand. Yet we obey Him out of a deep abiding Love for Him. Often these are lonely roads where a child of God may be ridiculed or shunned by people of this world; be it family, friend or foe. The most extreme derision may come from members in your own congregation. When we let these things affect our natural esteem then; we’re distracted which allows these influences to define us spiritually. If this occurs …. Warning: “We are not riding in stealth mode!!! (HIDDEN SECURELY IN CHRIST)“. Waves of INSECURITY can seem to overtake us when we are not SECURELY IN HIM.
- For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. … For you died to this life, and your REAL LIFE is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)
Notice that Paul says, “our “REAL LIFE.” That leaves the believer to conclude rightly that anything said of his character when he is in the security of Jesus is not authentic and not a reflection of Jesus.
It happens to us most often when we purposed to walk very closely with Him and we turn further and further from the offerings of the world. We can regain our footing and rise above the identity crisis, the hurt, the defamation, derision and any hint of insecurity caused to us; by the influences and perceptons of those who are outside of Christ. The Word says count even this for joy in Christ: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, (James 1:2-3)
Never must we let anyone or anything cause you to second guess our identity when we are Hidden in Christ. Nothing and no one outside of Him can define us. Often we will suffer the trials that result from people speaking cruelly of us, insulting us, attacking our character and showing bitter disdain for the lifestyle in Christ that we’ve chosen. We must turn our hearts to the Word and stand firm KNOWING who we really are as we claim it in ALL certainty.
The Word assures us:
- That we are absolutely loved by Christ
- We have been chosen (hand picked) by Jesus
- He regards us highly with a crown
- We can be sure that we are not alone; He was hated before us.
- When we endure and persevere Christ assures our rescue.
1.) Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. (Luke 6:22)
2.) Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
3.) If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (1 Peter 4:14)
4.) If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)
5.) All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Our Lord never has an identity crisis. He clearly states throughout the Word, “I AM!” I Am the Truth; I Am the Way; I Am the Life. In effect Jesus was plainly saying He is God who is the Truth, Way and Life. No matter how Jesus was tempted by satan, how much the high priest ridiculed Him or the unbelievers taunted Him; our Savior was never influence by what others thought of Him.
So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you …… “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. … (Luke 20:21)
Now knowing that when we place our “everything” securely in Christ; all of the negative of the world becomes Positive in the incomparably great I AM. What others think of us is of no value because our “REAL LIFE is hidden in Christ Jesus who SAVES!