John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He *said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus *said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.
38 YEARS PARALYZED
Jesus met this man who had been paralyzed for 38 years, who was constantly looking for healing. His hope for deliverance was in the ‘miracle pool’ of Bethesda and he thought “if I can just get in there when the water is stirred up, all my problems will be over.” As far as I can tell this man saw three reasons why he couldn’t be healed: 1. The miracle pool needed to be stirred up (circumstances needed to fall into place first) 2. No other person would help him, and 3. when he tried to help himself to get into the pool, other selfish people got in the way and took his spot.
ELIMINATING THE SPIRIT OF BLAME
When we’re in a point where we are struggling it’s very tempting to blame either our circumstances, or other people for our state. We may feel that we are struggling spiritually and are in a horribly unhappy state of life because some situation, or some person (or people) have caused us so many problems and grief. “Life is too hard, there are too many trials, my parents never showed me real love, my spouse won’t seek the Lord with me, this person tempts me to anger constantly, I can’t catch a break,” etc.
Like the paralyzed man in John 5, a person who consistently blames outward circumstances or other people for their inner struggle will be paralyzed spiritually and never find the victorious walk with the Lord that God intends for them.
TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION
I believe a great encouragement for every person who struggles with this, regardless of circumstances in their lives is:
Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Salvation is available today. He can be our salvation from whatever is pressing us down and making us paralyzed. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances, what other people are doing to us – we can choose to set aside all that others are saying and doing and look to Him alone for salvation today. Maybe OUTWARDLY none of our physical circumstances will change for a while, our enemies will still be persecuting us, our physical conditions may still remain for a while. But INWARDLY in our spirits we can spring up with joy, pick up our mat and walk with Him in victory. Then it won’t matter whatever our situations are on the outside, because inwardly we are filled with a fountain of peace and joy which is the presence of the Lord with us.
ALL WE NEED IS HIM
We don’t need a ‘miracle pool’ if we have Jesus. Previously, our ‘miracle pool’ may have been the thought that we need less trials, more money, more luck, more friends, and the people in our life need to be more godly and to treat us better. But like the paralyzed man, the answer was none of these things. It was simply to look to Jesus who is with us, to listen to what He said to him, to believe it, and to do it.
To get up from our spiritual paralysis and be able to stand up against sin and discouragement, and to walk with the Lord in victory, we don’t need situations or other people to change. All we need is HIM ALONE. To look to Him, and listen to Him, to obey and follow Him.
“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
What a wonderful encouragement from our Lord. We don't need a 'miracle pool', just Him and His Word. This means that ANYBODY (no matter how dire their lives look) can have hope. Our God is truly a God of hope to anybody who believes (Romans 15:13). Praise the Lord!
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.