Thursday, January 20, 2022
We are currently in a devotional study of learning how to trust God’s character when we face bad circumstances.
Unfortunately in our modern culture there are far too many people who do not have the privilege of knowing their father. Even when the father is present, so many have a poor understanding of what a real father is like because of the model he presents. But if we can look beyond the human limitations and failures of earthly fathers and open our hearts to the incredible wonder of a perfect Father in heaven, we will be empowered to endure hardship because we know His heart and His purpose is always good.
Romans 8:14-16 “…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Romans 8 tells us about all of the things that are at work in our lives to help us handle tough times, and one of the most significant for me is this one – I have been made a permanently loved child of God with all rights of sonship. Here are three benefits of believing this truth.
- We have a life free from fear because of the power of the Father. When I was young I had a vivid and recurring dream. I was a toddler and was in a fenced area containing a large bull with huge horns that swept down in a curve in front of his head much like tusks on an elephant. The bull charged me, knocked me down, then scooped me up with his horns and began tossing me in the air. With each toss I became more filled with terror as the bull would catch me and then throw me higher. At the top of one toss I noticed my father coming to my rescue. He jumped high into the air using the back of the bull as a springboard and snatched me away from danger, setting me down carefully as he landed on the ground. He turned and grabbed the bull by the horns and began spinning him around like an Olympic hammer-thrower. At just the right moment he released the bull and flung him into a far pasture. I awakened from the dream feeling at peace that I had a father who would protect me from harm.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of adoption as a son, and we may cry out to Him in any situation knowing that He will respond with intimate love and infinite power.
2. We have been made an equal heir of all things with Jesus Christ. When God adopts us as His children he removes all distinctions, between us and other people, and also between Jesus Christ and us. Yes, Jesus is still God and we are not, but God honors those who are in Christ with all the rights and rewards of being His children. The Apostle John states it this way: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)
3. Finally, the sufferings of today are necessary for the total experience of glory later. We are much more appreciative of gain when we have experienced loss. Blessings are more valued after cursings. Light is more highly esteemed after a period of darkness. Glory will be more fully revealed after suffering. Do not fight the hardship – embrace it as a training ground of personal growth leading towards the revealing of God’s glory.
Hardship and hurt are able to be endured because:
- fear has been removed by the power of the Father to control and conquer the difficulty;
- the Father treats me with the same love and honor that He treats Jesus because I have been made an equal heir;
- God is designing all of the tests in this life to improve me and prove to me His love so that I will experience the fullness of His glory.
Be encouraged – you are a child of God.