Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, "Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mightly man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment [justice], and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."
I have nothing to be lastingly happy and joyful about outside of God. Everything I have is from Him!
I like what Wilma Sullivan says in her book, A Song for All Seasons:
"This old world tells us that we have to get our identity, our "self-image," from what we do. Therefore, we can have self-esteem or feel good about ourselves if we do good, important and worthwhile things. In that reasoning, people can glory in being professionals (teachers, doctors, real estate agents, etc.), in doing what they do as a career. They can glory in the talents or characteristics they display (as musicians, artists, athletes, gourmet cooks, or having a good figure or great strength, etc.). They can glory in what they've acquired (money and other possessions). Or they can glory in the responsibilities they fulfill and in the people who need or respect them (parenting, church work, civic duties, children, friends, etc.).
"But God clearly tells us that we can't glory in any of those things. Either they will puff us up in pride (as we try to take the credit for God-given talents, possessions, opportunities, etc.), or they will fail us. We can lose jobs and money, and we certainly can lose our figures. People may not appreciate our talents. And regardless of our self-discipline, we still blow it at times when it comes to our responsibilities and relationships. To disregard God's direction and try to find our self-worth in such things is downright foolish.
"What's more, when we try to find our identity in what we do, sinful behavior becomes a part of that identity. What I mean is that when we as Christians allow sin to beset us, we think of that sin as a part of who we are, and thus we have to take the label of sin. We tie our weaknesses to our self-concept... We sink into despair and defeat because, in our flesh, we think that God couldn't love us as we are.
"Hey, wait a minute! Nothing can separate us from the love of God!... We play right into the devil's hands when we think our identity comes from all those things we do or have. Satan knows that we're looking for victory and acceptance in all the wrong places, and he wants to keep us in the dark." (pages 82-83)
No! Christ Himself is my life (Colossians 3:3-4)! I am complete in Him (Colossians 2:10)! My past is gone and all things are new (II Corinthians 5:17)! I am blessed with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3)! He always makes me triumph (II Corinthians 2:14)!
I'm not defeated. I'm not a failure. I'm not stupid. I'm not defined by my accomplishments, or lack of accomplishments. My identity is in CHRIST. In HIM I live, and move, and have my being (Acts 17:28)!
REMEMBER: Satan knows that we're looking for victory and acceptance in all the wrong places, and he wants to keep us in the dark.
Don't let him win! I'm so glad that in Christ I find complete acceptance and unconditional love. He is constantly pursuing a closer, more intimate relationship with ME! I love Him because He first loved me (I John 4:19)! That makes my service for Him special; it's given out of love, not as an effort to try to gain His acceptance! I already have His acceptance!
I am unconditionally loved: knowing and accepting this gives me true joy!