The bumbling toddler that used to cling to your leg constantly has become a teen who would rather text than speak to you. What happened? Where did your once over-talkative little girl go? What has this lanky boy who grunts with downturned eyes during conversation done with my son!
Maybe your scenario is different, but what holds true is that parents carry heavy heart-burdens for their unconverted children to know the Lord. And, by God’s good design, many children born into believing families will one day believe themselves. But stressed out moms and weary dads with tear-stained pillows are tempted to give up and ask, “Can God save my child?” Let me share with you some encouragement to press on in seeking your child’s salvation.
Demon possessed children have been freed
The dominion of sin in the life of unconverted children is devastating. You have seen this controlling evil bring great harm to your child, and realize that they must be freed from its authority. In Mark 9:14-29 we find Jesus speaking with a father whose son has a spirit that makes him mute, throws him into fire and into water, makes him foam at the mouth, and convulses him violently. From birth, this has been reality for the boy and his father. From birth, the father has been helpless to save his son—and this drives him to Jesus.
When he finally makes his way to Jesus, the father says, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus responds, “If you can! All things are possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the father cries, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (v. 22-24) After Jesus saw the father’s heart of desperation and belief, He commanded the spirit to come out from the boy.
Is there anything too hard for God? Does Jesus really have the power to set your child free from the demon-like possession of sin? The response of Christ to the heart that questions His ability and willingness to save is one of exasperation, “If you can!” (v. 23) It is also one of compassion, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” (v. 25) Stop allowing the impossibility of your child’s situation to keep you from Jesus. Rather, let it drive you to Him.
Dead children have been raised
It is likely that you have correctly equated you child’s lostness to spiritual death. You have seen that the only answer to death is resurrection. This is initially a hopeless realization, because you cannot do what must be done. A father in Mark 5:21-43 finds himself thinking something similar when he falls at the feet of Jesus saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” (v. 23) Upon hearing this, Jesus goes with the man to meet his daughter.
Before Jesus arrives at the father’s home, news comes that the little girl has already died. There is no need for Jesus now, they say. The desperate hope of the father has turned to grief. Jesus responds, “Do not fear, only believe.” (v. 36) Confidence must never rest upon the situation, but upon the Savior Himself.
Jesus then arrives at the home to a wild commotion of weeping and sorrow, and assures the people that the little girl is only sleeping. She clearly has died according to those mourning, and the mention of “sleeping” causes the people to laugh at Jesus. They have come to the hopeless realization that there is nothing they can do to help the dead little girl. To them, sleeping requires someone to wake her, which they could do. To Jesus, death requires that someone raise her, which He can do. And so we read, “Taking her by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’” (v. 41) The little girl that had died got out of bed as if she had only been sleeping.
Lost children can be found
Perhaps you have laughed in unbelief at someone who spoke of your child, “He is not beyond the grace of God,” or “she is not too lost for Jesus to find.” In your heart you respond hopelessly, “She is dead! He is utterly lost!” Jesus tells you with stern tenderness, “Do not fear, only believe.” Will you trust God with your children, or will you doubt?
Let your children see you full of faith as you pray for their conversion and share with them this Jesus who casts none away who come to Him in faith. Model for them confidence in God, rather than confidence in you own parenting skills.
Before asking whether or not God can save your child, remember what He has done for others. Remember what He has done for you. Death to life is the necessity for the wayward teen and the obedient one alike. The Savior and His once-lost sheep share this—they were dead, but now they live. So take heart, death is as sleep to the living God.