In Part 1 of What To Do When You’re Having an Identity Crisis, I described being at my breaking point and feeling insecure as I struggled to figure out who I was.
God worked in my heart to show me that I didn’t need to have all the answers. As a child of God, my identity is rooted in who He is, not in what I do or what I like. Because I follow Christ, the insecurity knocking at my door can be defeated. Even when I’m struggling, God promises that I can cast all my anxiety on Him because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).
I talk about following Christ, but what does this actually mean?
To follow Christ means to first recognize our need for a Savior. The first time I realized this, I was 18 years old, and I finally understood that my sin was just as bad as everyone else’s sin (Romans 3:23). Even if we’ve only committed one sin, that sin is causing us to be separated from God because God is perfect and holy (Isaiah 59:2).
So, how do we reconnect with God after we’ve messed up?
The answer: Jesus Christ. It isn’t about what we can do, but about what God has already done for us. God gave us Jesus as the way to Himself.
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (NIV)
If we get back to God through Jesus, how do we get to Jesus in the first place?
The ever-popular verse to quote, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)
Then, Jesus goes on to say, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 (NIV)
There is beautiful truth in these verses! Because of God’s great love for us, he gave us Jesus. He doesn’t want to condemn, but to save. God’s plan is to bring us back to himself when we’ve gone astray because being with God is the best place we can be. He is the source of life (John 1:1-4). He brings hope (Romans 8:24-25). He brings peace (Philippians 4:7). He is love! (1 John 4:8)
Jesus said that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.
But, what does it mean to believe?
As a child and younger teenager, I thought believing in Jesus just meant believing that he was real, that he existed. I didn’t realize it meant believing that he was who he said he was. I knew he was God’s Son, which meant that Jesus was God in human form, but didn’t quite understand the significance.
Now, I know that the reason Jesus’ sacrifice of dying on the cross is enough to pay for our sins so we can be back in a relationship with God is because a perfect sacrifice was needed. Jesus, being fully man and fully God, lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21). Essentially, in order for our sins to be forgiven, God had to sacrifice Himself. He did it all because He loved us.
Believing in Jesus Christ means having faith in His Word. Believing in Christ spurs us on to abandon our old ways and turn toward a new life.
We must first recognize that we have sinned and that our sin is separating us from God. We then repent of our sin. This means we confess our sins to God through prayer, turn away from that sin, and turn toward God. We then can rejoice and thank God for Christ’s completed work on the cross on our behalf. In that, we place our hope not in ourselves but in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth for a very specific purpose because God loved each and every one of us. We then receive the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a deposit that guarantees our inheritance in Heaven (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Each person’s journey toward understanding the truth of what it means to follow Christ is different. Some of my friends understood their need for a savior at four years old, but others were grown adults with kids by the time they met the Lord. Wherever you are at, whether you know the Lord or not, please remember that God loves you and desires a relationship with you.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (NIV)
Seek the Lord and He will show up.
Even if you’ve already had a point where you placed your hope in Christ and began to follow Him, remembering the truth of the Gospel and what it means to follow Christ will help you remember that your identity is in Christ. If you are a follower of Christ, you don’t need to look any further for affirmation of who you are. The only affirmation you need, you already have.
My prayer in writing these two posts on identity is that you will remember that even when life gets hard, you can never truly lose yourself when you have Jesus in your life. I have struggled to remember my identity, but even through it all, God was still with me, trying to draw me back to Himself.
I pray that if you are in the midst of your own identity crisis that you will find the answers you need. If you ever need someone to talk with, please contact me. I would love to walk this out with you!
Thank you for reading.