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Conclusion (Statement of Faith)

One of the first questions parents ask when faced with the realization that their child has disabilities is "why"? "Why is this happening to my child"? Unfortunately, there are no simple answers. Many parents feel as if they've been cursed or simply that they've been "dealt a bad hand." Nothing is further from the truth. Life is full of challenges and trials. Most of us can look back at our past and recall circumstances that, at the time, were difficult or appeared to be a misfortune. As time went by, however, we may have come to realize that our experience resulted in a favorable outcome or actually improved us as a person. Regardless of the outcome, a curious thing happened to our character along the way. These challenges shaped us, strengthened us, and had a direct impact on our attitude and perspective. There's no doubt that we've been given a challenge, but the question is, how are we going to rise to meet it? 

It's been said that "attitude is everything," and in this case we're inclined to agree. But how do we get to that place? The right attitude consists of a number of attributes, and topping the list are peace, wisdom, and hope. Needless to say, these are hot commodities and are not easily attained in this day and age. Some may feel that they possess all the resources necessary to handle life's challenges on their own, gritting their teeth and making heroic, exhausting efforts to make it through each day. Others may rely on material possessions for their sense of worth and a facade of rightness with the world. Still others may rely on substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to falsely maintain their attitude but only for as long as their escapist behavior allows. The problem is, none of these options can possibly result in the long-term supply of peace, wisdom, and hope required for a successful journey through life.

The solution is spiritual. Do you believe in God? Do you know what it means to have a relationship with Him? Do you know how much God loves you, regardless of anything you've ever said or done? He does. He cares for you deeply and has a plan for your life, however bad or unfortunate it may seem to you right now. We obviously know nothing about your spirituality, but we encourage you to open your heart to the words that follow.

None of us, believers or not, know why we've been given the responsibility of caring for a child with special needs, but one thing is clear: we need help. We need the peace, wisdom, and hope that not only shapes our attitudes, but sustains our lives. Many of us have chased some form of worldly or fleshly desire in our lives. By this we mean we sought satisfaction, peace, or a sense of worth through material possessions or mood-altering substances. There's nothing wrong with aspirations such as owning a sports car or a big house, or having a high-paying career until we begin to rely on these things for our peace. This is certainly the case with alcohol or drugs. The problem is that none of these things produce long-term peace or hope; they're all temporal. They will never keep us satisfied and will always keep us wanting more. Such pursuits will also result in a variety of undesirable side-effects down the road: damaged relationships, depression, stress, substance addiction, and the list goes on. It's for this very reason that many successful and wealthy people--by the world's standards--end up taking their own lives.

God can give you the life-long peace, wisdom, and hope you need for the challenges before you; all you have to do is ask. Don't be afraid of reaching out if you don't have a relationship with Him. God loves you and is waiting for you to call upon Him, right where you are. The Bible says, "Draw near to God and God will draw near to you." A relationship with God cannot be earned, and there are no specific criteria to meet. This relationship is a gift, made possible by His son Jesus. All you have to do is receive it.

So here's what you need to know:

1) God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

God's love: "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

God's plan: [Jesus speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." [That it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10)

Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life?

2) Man is sinful.

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his independent way and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin. Man is then separated.

"The wages of sin is death." [Spiritual separation from God]  (Romans 6:23)

After this happens, man continually tries to reach God and the abundance of life through his own efforts, such as good life, philosophy, or religion, but he inevitably fails.

3) Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin, Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life.

He died in our place: "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

He rose from the dead: "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

He is the only way to God: "Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father but through Me.'" (John 14:6) 

It is not enough to just know the spiritual laws....

4) We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.

We must receive Christ: "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." (John 1:12)

We receive Christ through faith: "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

When we receive Christ, we experience a new birth: [Jesus speaking] "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." (John 3:5-6)

We receive Christ through a personal invitation: [Jesus speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him." (Revelation 3:20)

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. It is also not enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Prayer is simply talking with God. Are you willing to receive the gift of salvation and start a relationship with God? God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

"Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open my heart and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. I ask that you take control of my life and make me the person you want me to be. Amen."

If you just prayed this prayer, congratulations; your life will never be the same! There are, however, a few recommendations we would like to make in an effort to help you build and maintain a solid relationship with God.

Obtain a "NIV" (New International Version) or "NASB" (New American Standard Bible) translation of the Bible and read it. You can also read the Bible online at the following web site:

Bible Gateway (Scroll down their home page for instructions about how to use it.)

Find a Bible-based, Christian Church in your area and attend regularly.
Establish relationships with fellow Christians and pray for one another.

You haven't been "dealt a bad hand" my friend, you've been given an incredible opportunity. Trust God with all of your heart and He will tend to all of your needs. May God bless you and your family....

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