Fear has a personal way about it. It wraps itself around us, entwining with our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs — distorting what we know to be true. It encroaches on our identities. Before we are aware of it, fear has so permeated our lives to a point where it feels as though it has become a very fiber of our beings. We try our hardest to push it away, to set aside fearful thoughts and deny anxiety’s grip on us, but so often we come up short. It feels as though fear has won again.
God, the Creator who intimately made us and knows us inside and out, also knows we are prone to grapple with fear. He understands, left to our own strength, we succumb to its power. And so He offers us an incredible antidote to fear in Romans 8 — a solution we may not expect.
When it comes to battling fear, we often think of characteristics such as bravery, strength, perseverance, and courage. But God thinks of adoption. In Romans 8:15 we are told, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption.”
Through Jesus we are no longer slaves! We are liberated from the chains of sin, death, fear, shame, and anxiety. And it is not by our own courage or power that we cast off these restraints – it is through adoption.
God calls us His own, and in this identity, light overpowers darkness and casts away every shadow of fear. In Him we find true bravery, strength, perseverance, and courage far greater than anything we could muster on our own.
We discover freedom and peace deeper and fuller than anything we’ve ever known, all wrapped up in this promise from John 1:12: “to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” Along with His promise in John 8:35-36, “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Dear God, when I am prone to fear, remind me of my place within Your family. Remind me of all which is true of me because You have called me Your own. As a child of God, I am free indeed! Help me to live in this promise more each day. When fears or anxieties encroach, help me to stop and listen to Your Spirit. Help me to dwell on truth. Help me to live in the victory You have given me over fear. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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