Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying God does not love our children. He absolutely does. But like any good Father, He wants the best for His children. He wants to see them thrive. Don't we all?
In today's culture, I know not everyone believes Jesus still heals. To be honest, I have never faced more resistance on any topic than my desire to see special needs children set free and healed. This article's intent is not to discuss the theology of healing, as there are a lot of great resources on that topic, including simply studying the life of Jesus in the Bible.
Furthermore, in praying for children with special needs, I have experienced how passionate people can be about their differing perspectives and feelings. People who disagree that healing can happen for children with disabilities often come from a place of pain and disappointment, or they simply haven't understood our heart.
However, as someone who knows the heart of the Father and has talked to families who have seen their children healed, the naysayers' arguments go silent for me. To hear a child who had never talked before say "Mama" for the first time will forever change how you see things. There is hope!
I have been confronted with the question, "Can't you just love and accept them as they are?" I have also been quoted as saying I hate children with autism. I do hate autism, but I don't hate the child who has it. I think it is important that the child's condition not become his identity. I love and accept the child, but I hate the condition, as I believe it's not from God, and it's not His design.
When Jesus died on the cross, He took what we deserved so we could receive what He deserved. Jesus tells us, "The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
Read this closely: God is not punishing you by afflicting your child with a disability. A good Father does not do that, and His Son already took the only punishment required. There is absolutely nothing you did wrong to cause this to happen. For those who might have experienced a more difficult past, and your child was born with side effects caused by drug abuse or other factors, the blood of Jesus is still enough to change your future.
I'm still praying to experience God's healing power firsthand in my own family. While I am still standing and believing for my own daughter's healing, I also stand on the conviction that the absence of the miracle does not define the heart of the Father. My family would rather die standing in faith than live a life of unbelief.
Let's believe Jesus for that abundant life. Abundant life for our children is one where they are free of seizures, spastic muscles, autism, social isolation and language barriers. Abundant life is where they can reach their fullest potential in God like anyone else and are free to run and dream. As of today, we've heard over 60 reports of full or significant breakthrough in children who were on the autism spectrum. I highlighted stories of children and adults who have been fully healed, as well as some who are still in the process, in my book The Perfect Gift. Not all of these people have been prayed for by me or even by Bethel Church—after all, the healing power of Jesus is available for every believer.
Every breakthrough is significant, and Jesus deserves all the glory for every one of them. Our heart's desire at Bethel is to see parents have permission to believe again, believing that healing is God's best for His children. We pray that each home of special needs children would be filled with joy and encouragement.
For any parents of special needs children, we pray that chaos would not be the ruler of your house, but peace would be your portion and that your household would become a fortress of fresh hope. We pray that you would be encouraged and thanksgiving would flow from your lives as we all focus on what Jesus has paid for. May the Holy Spirit ignite your faith and hope to see the kingdom of God come in the life of your family, in Jesus' mighty name.
Chris Gore is the director of healing ministries at Bethel Church in Redding, California. He is the author of Walking in Supernatural Healing Power and The Perfect Gift.
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