So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:12-25
Abba means more than "father." It is something more akin to "daddy." It means a close relationship.
So we, like Jesus, get to call God "Daddy." Or maybe a word you like better is "papa." It means that just like Jesus, we can claim a close relationship to God.
A relationship that makes us heirs of God. Just like Jesus.
Of course that inheritance means we get the bad along with the good. It means that suffering is still going to happen.
I think I've mentioned before that when I was five, my stepfather adopted me. Our relationship changed in a moment. My birth certificate was changed to include his name on it.
He became daddy.
He was my protector and guide, He loved me as his own, but there was still pain along the way as well as joy.
However I never felt that I was any less his daughter than my brother, who was his child by biology.
It's like that with God. We are just as much God's children as Jesus. Joint heirs with Jesus.
Inheritors of the promise of life. We can place our hope in that. And we can trust that.
Abba! Father! Thank you! Amen