For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

We have discussed this week that our adoption means that we are heirs with Christ. However, our adoption also calls us to a weighty responsibility as His followers. As the last verse of this passage reminds us, we are called to follow Christ in all things, even suffering. Yet, we can be confident that even in our suffering we have a hope that will never fail us. God will never forsake those who He has made His own through the work of Christ.

Where are you currently suffering? Be reminded that Christ is there with you, by His Spirit. Ask the Spirit to remind you that you are not abandoned to fear in your suffering but you can call out to your Father, who will never leave you alone.

In verse 18, immediately following this passage, Paul encouraged his readers that the suffering of this age is not worthy of comparing with the glory that is to come for God’s people. We have this hope through the reality that we have been adopted by God as His people, secure forever in Christ.

• How does this passage encourage you as you face suffering?

• How might you seek to encourage others who are suffering by sharing this passage?

• Thank God that He has adopted you in Christ. Thank Him that you are secure in His hand no matter what you face and are promised glory in Him that is beyond compare.