“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:15-21)
They say that nothing worth achieving ever came easy. In a lot of ways, this is true. This is especially true of the Christian life. Living a life that demands that we sacrifice our selfish desires for the greater glory of the Kingdom by submitting to God’s authority in our lives is no easy endeavor. However, the rewards of hearing those words “Well done, good and faithful servant.” are well worth the experience.
Our current sufferings and trials and tribulations in this world are not a result of God’s doing. They are a result of God’s faithfulness to His Word. They are result of the corruption that enter into creation because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden. This corruption extended throughout all of creation and we continue to choose to submit to it.
But there is hope! God Himself has made a way for creation to “obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” One of the great lies that we have been conditioned to believe in this world is that “we are all God’s children.” The truth of the matter is simply this: We are children of God, not because we were born into this corrupt world. We BECOME children of God when we are born again of the Spirit of God. As a result we are adopted into His family as His children. Not because we deserve it. Not because we are entitled to anything simply by being born. We are adopted into His family as a result of His sovereign choice and will.
Nowhere in Scripture does it ever say that we choose Him. In fact, the words of Scripture very clearly say that He chooses us.
“Many are called, but few are chosen.”Matthew 12:14
“None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”(Romans 3:10-12, Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3)
We become children of God through the “spirit of adoption” (Romans 8:15). As such, this implies that we were once the child of another, in this case a child of corruption, born into a corrupted existence. However, once we are born again by adoption into the family of God, we inherit all of the privileges and consequences that come with our new family status. We inherit His glory, but we also inherit His sufferings.
Our hearts rejoice with the things He rejoices in. Our hearts break for the things that break His. Persecution was, and is, and inescapable fact. If the religious and political leaders of the day would crucify the Son of the Living God on a garbage dump of a hill outside of a backwater town in the middle of the desert, can you possibly expect that the world would ever give you any leniency?
Let me be clear: I’m not talking about persecution. Suffering in this world is a part of life. But for us, who have a greater vision, our sufferings are often amplified by our perspective. But so are our joys and our victories. The question is do you focus inward at your circumstances, or do look forward with hope in spite of your circumstances?
Dear friends, I only speak the truth because of my great love for you. God speaks truth to you in His Word because of His even greater love for you. He wants you to live the life that He intended for you and the experience the joy that He created you for. Until we take Him at His Word, we will never truly know Him and the inheritance of truly being a child of God.