Knowing that God says I am His child helps me to see things in a proper perspective — God’s perspective. Particularly when things are not going quite the way we would like — when we’re not what we want to be — it is comforting to know that as God’s child, I have a hope.
One of the biggest struggles for Junior High students is that they rarely believe that whatever part of their body they don’t like at the time — and there is always something — will ever change. They fear that they will always be too tall, too short, too awkward, too quiet, too loud, too “pimply”, too something that will cause them to be overlooked or mocked their entire life. They think that what is has always been and there is no hope for change.
Many times, followers of Jesus end up with the same attitude. The growth process of a Christian takes time and during those inevitable delays, it is easy for our adolescent faith to begin to feel hopeless. Every stumble feels permanent. Every sin drives home a sense of failure. Doubt begins to grow instead of faith. It is at these times that we need a reminder of the hope we have as God’s child.
John puts it this way in 1 John 3:1-3:
“See what great 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 Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”
John says that as God’s child, you will feel like a misfit because that is what you are. You won’t fit into the world. The world won’t know or understand you because they don’t know or understand our Father. As children of God, we are adolescents. It is not yet known what we will become. Yet even with the unknown, we are assured that we will be like Jesus — the image of our Father.
As we struggle with our identity and what we are becoming, we have hope. This is a confident hope that our sin is dealt with and removed. We are becoming like Christ — and will be like Him — so our hope is assured that we are purified because He is pure. We can take courage in being God’s child as our hope puts to death and rejects sin and the work of evil. God says that our hope in Him purifies us so that we accomplish deeds of righteousness and relationships of love.
As God’s child, I have hope because I know I don’t have to stay the way I was, or even the way I am. My hope in God purifies and refines me into who I will become — like Jesus.
I pray that as God’s child, you recognize the hope you have. May that hope compel you to grow up into the image of Jesus.