I have been listening and studying for a bit on this idea of identity. Specifically, what is our identity in Christ. I've come across a few things that have been a real revelation for me...
First, my identity is fixed. Circumstances cannot change even the smallest part of my identity. I heard it this way - "My identity is not determined by my activity." That is a powerful statement. I am who God says I am because he says that's who I am. God didn't whip up a fake ID and give me a disguise to trick Satan like they do in the movies when they are on the run. Through the death and resurrection of His son, God has established who I am and it cannot be undone by anyone or anything around me.
Second, I don't act on who I am. My actions reveal who I think I am. The Bible tells me that I am the righteousness of God. God said it to make it true. The reason it isn't more evident is that I forget or don't really believe it's true. God isn't dishonest, I'm forgetful. Even in my lack of faith, God speaks into my life, trying to shape me and remind me of who I really am.
Finally, God is our father. That sounds pretty vanilla, but it's profound when we understand what that really means. Think about how we view our own children. We beam with pride and joy when they make any kind of progress. We push them on to help them grow, but rejoice at every step. If my 9 yr old son kept crawling around the house, I'd be a little disappointed because he could do more. Let's be honest - I'm better than him at everything. He's 9, so I'm faster, stronger smarter, everything. But he's my son. He doesn't have to impress me to be my son. He doesn't have to wow me for me to be proud.
In the same way, we're God's children. We get a view of how He feels about his children when we see how he treated His son at his baptism. God spoke from heaven "this is my son, who I love. I'm pleased with him." At first, we think of course he's proud of him. It's Jesus. But think for a minute...what had Jesus done at this point? He hadn't performed a single miracle, hadn't preached a sermon, hadn't done any of the Jesus stuff. He'd been a carpenter that was obedient to his Father. That was enough for God to split the sky and announce that He loved him and was proud of him. God isn't waiting for me to cure cancer to be proud of me. He's not reserving judgement until I preach a sermon or heal the sick. He's not waiting for some event. He's proud of me and my next step and eager with anticipation for the one after that.