For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Once again, it’s important to remember the difference between hope, the expectation of good to come, and optimism, the understanding of present good. Our inheritance as children of God fills us with hope, but let’s not forget the present good that Paul reveals to us in this passage: we are children of God! Whatever paradise we imagine to come shouldn’t overshadow the present joy that–right now–we have the most legitimate parentage possible. There is no such thing as a stranger, a bastard, or an enemy. God didn’t arrive as foreign conqueror and allow the slaves to live so they could work for him. No, he is the true King of the land and he has come to claim everyone as his children! Recognizing our royal lineage means that we must look at ourselves differently, but we must look at others differently, too: as children of God and our brothers and sisters.
Reason for Optimism 3: We are children of God!