‘For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “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 joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together (Romans 8:15-17).’
There are millions of children who have no parents, and they live in dire circumstances with little prospect of having a safe and secure future. Thousands are exploited by ruthless criminals who see them as commodities – objects or things that can be *trafficked and abused. When of no use to them, they are discarded, forgotten – irreparably damaged – broken, in mind, body and spirit.
The weapons used by these debased, manipulative, slave masters are psychological and physical abuse. They impose all kinds of deprivations, including restriction of movement – even imprisonment! They take from them any sense of self-worth. Trapped in slavery, they are stateless and without rights. In their poverty, anguish and pain, they find themselves totally dependent upon their unscrupulous slave masters, who, if they so wish, can sell them to the highest bidder.
They are destitute **orphans without hope of rescue.
Thankfully in the UK the great majority of orphans are not exploited or abused. Although they have no natural parents they are cared for by foster parents or they are ***adopted.
Local authorities are required by law to provide care for orphans and for children who are at risk from their own parents. If they cannot be looked after by relatives or friends, the local authority is obliged to find suitable foster parents who will take them into their own homes. These children may be offered the chance of adoption, and if they are adopted, they have the same legal rights as the natural siblings.
There are no orphanages in the UK, but a child who has severe behavioural problems and who needs intensive remedial therapy, may be placed in a group home with social workers and carers.
All of Us are Orphans from Birth!
The truth is we all enter life as orphans, although we may have the most wonderful, loving and caring parents.
So, how can this be?
Well, we are born as sinners (Romans 3:23), estranged from God the Father on account of our ****depravity. We are helpless babes addicted to sin. Yet He sees our need and fully understands our bondage to sin and our inability to break free of it. In His great mercy and compassion (Romans 9:15) He sends His Son on a rescue mission to redeem us to Himself (Revelation 5:9), and to adopt (Ephesians 1:5) us as sons and daughters into His family.
When speaking before the multitudes, Jesus asked them, “Who is My mother and My brothers?” Then pointing to His disciples He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:48-50)!’
These heartwarming and astonishing words declare that all who do the will of the Father are His sons and daughters. Through His Son He gives us the right to become His children (John 1:12, 13). He adopts us into His family. Furthermore He makes us ‘heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together (Romans 8:17).’
Our bondage to fear has been banished (v. 15), and we have an amazing relationship with “Abba Father” to His glory and our glorification with Him (v. 17).
Paul reminds us, ‘that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us (v. 18).’
If we believe and trust in God’s Son, we are no longer orphans.
‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12, 13).’
*Human Trafficking & Orphans: The 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report
**Orphans in Need
***Adopting a Child