Get Your Feels Pt. 2

February 7, 2023
Back to Articles

How much emotional blessing do you regularly receive from your adoption into our Father’s family?  

We are pressing into reconnecting theology and emotion. If theology doesn’t transform our hearts, then what’s the point? Our heads fill, and swell, with knowledge while our hearts are filled and swollen with all manner of instability.  

This should not be.  

One reality of our faith in which we can easily consider the emotional impact of our Christianity is our adoption. Adoption forms one of the foundational realities of our experiences. Your being brought into the Family is supposed to generate great, emotional blessing! Every time God is called Father is one more “LOOK AT THIS YOU HAVE BEEN ADOPTED” reminder. And God is called Father all over Scripture. 

Consider the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:15-17,  

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

(Notice the specific works of all three persons of the Trinity in your adoption! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit harmonizing to bring you into Their family.) 

Fear is replaced by love as the one adopted experiences their deliverance from the orphanage of the world. Can you imagine the emotion? Paul says the one adopted cries out, “Abba! Father!” What a shout of joy, of freedom, of love. The one adopted has been brought into the Family of God Himself. What an incredible day that would be, changing the trajectory of one’s life.   

Why is adoption so central to your life? Well, consider the emotional blessing or damage you have incurred from your family of origin. How much of your inner stability do you owe to your mom and dad? How much of your heart instability has been caused by family of origin issues? We can run from this all we want to but the truth will not change – we are massively affected by the homes in which we were raised.  


Being adopted into God’s Family begins the work of filling in the gaps, healing the wounds, and stabilizing the soul. 

The emotional juice you can receive from having been made a son or a daughter of the Creator of the universe is profound. You can experiences deeper and deeper blessings for the rest of your life.  

Consider, in just one example, the way you may have experienced performance-based love from your parents. Constant scrutiny. Little encouragement. Everything is on you.  

Or, in another example, your parents continually pumped you with the belief that you are the greatest child in the history of children. You can do know wrong. All-Star is the beginning of your resume.  

Both examples dump enormous pressure on the individual. Receiving love becomes conditioned on performance. Nothing is good enough. Or yesterday’s victory is yesterday. Today we get up and start all over.  

Exhausting. And terrorizing.  

In our adoption we are liberated from fear that we will never be good enough. We are brought into, and carried along in, the Holy love of God the Father through the gift of Jesus. The Holy Spirit Himself seals and empowers our adopted life.  

The ongoing manifestation of the adopted life is an interior rest that springs from a deepening conviction that you are completely and totally loved by your Creator. 

I continually find brothers and sisters who stop their Christianity at some notion that their sins have been forgiven. The understanding of salvation has been sadly and dangerously reduced to Jesus on the cross who takes away your bad things. THIS IS HORRIBLE TEACHING that leaves the one listening in a miserable state.  

The Apostle John writes in John 1:12-13,  

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God (the Father), even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 

See the insistence on adoption? There is no salvation without adoption.  

PLEASE do not cut off your adoption! PLEASE soak in and enjoy and allow the Holy Spirit to give you adoption juice. Emotional transformation is READILY available in beautiful, amazing, powerful ways. 

I told the story in chapter seven of my book, BE: The Way of Rest, of my friends Luis and Brenda’s adoption of Helsen, then a teenager from Ethiopia. I tell the story mostly from Helsen’s perspective. Recently, I asked Luis about his experience as the adopted dad. Now, in addition to Helsen, Luis and Brenda adopted a beautiful girl from China and two boys from Kazakhstan. Luis’s response was amazing. He easily, joyfully, with GREAT detail, recalled the precise moments he met each of his adopted children for the first time! He recalls, “With each child, the moment I saw them, I was filled with love for them. I knew they were mine. I felt an intense desire for their well-being and began seeing how I was going to take care of them.” 

This is the power of love that flows effortlessly in adoption.    

Our Father LOVED, and LOVES, your adoption into His Family! Jesus and the Holy Spirit LOVED, and LOVE, you being in their family!  

Can you try and let your spirit cry out, “Abba, Father?”  

  1. Hey Jim. Really enjoying the Podcast. This “Get your feels” series is exactly what I have been needing. The older I get the harder it is for me to feel strong emotions. Jesus always met people’s emotional and physical needs before asking them to follow him.

    1. Thanks, Michael! We can spend way too much time believing right all the while we are feeling wrong. Hopefully this series is helping to heal that gap!

More Articles