But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified]. (John 1:12-13, AMP)
I think one of the top two greatest secrets to a joy-filled life is keeping your identity in Christ. If I place my identity in anything but Christ I will be disappointed. Everything else will cause me to lose my joy at some point in time.
If I put my identity in what I do, I’ll lose joy when I’m called to do something new.
If I put my identity in what I look like, I’ll lose my joy when my looks change.
If I put my identity in my children, I’ll lose joy when they do something that I don’t agree with or when they leave home.
If I put my identity in my performance, I’ll lose joy when I’m not performing well.
If I put my identity in how much money I can make, I’ll lose joy when that money ceases to bring me satisfaction.
If I put my identity in my achievements, my joy will flee when I’m not getting recognition for a new achievement.
If I put my identity in my marriage, my joy will disappear when my spouse says something hurtful.
If I put my identity in my church, I’ll lose my joy when someone in the church hurts me.
The only thing that brings a steadfast joy in this life is having a sole identity in Christ.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
He is the only thing that doesn’t change. My stuff will get old. There will be a day my children move out. There will come a time when my achievements have just collected dust. Nothing on this earth lasts forever.
In fact, I’ve noticed the times when I let the cares of this world occupy my heart. I’ve noticed when I’ve displaced Jesus and given over the throne of my heart to things going on around me. Those things tend to choke out my joy. I must always leave Christ on the throne of my heart, not my concerns, not my worries, not my anxieties, and not my expectations. I must become less so that Christ can become more in me.
Dear Father God, Please help me to identify where I have placed my identity in anything but Christ. Please help me to see where I have let other things occupy the throne of my heart. I surrender. Lord, my joy is only found in Jesus! May I live to serve You alone and become more Christlike with every passing day as I find my identity in the only One who will never change!
Living the Joy-Filled Life in Jesus,