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November 19, 2022

When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6 (MSG)

Nobody is born unhappy or pessimistic. But sometimes, in the face of what feels like a helpless situation, we can develop a negative outlook that causes us to abandon hope.

John 5:2–7 provides an example of this. In Jerusalem, there was a pool surrounded by five covered porches. Many sick, blind and paralyzed people lay in these porches, waiting for the waters to occasionally stir up. They believed whoever touched the bubbling water first would be healed of their ailment.

When Jesus passed by, He stopped to ask a paralyzed man who had been lying by the pool for thirty-eight years if he wanted to be healed. The man’s answer is interesting. He replied, “I can’t, sir, for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me” (John 5:7, NLT). Notice that he didn’t even answer Jesus’ question. Why?

When we get into situations that seem hopeless, after a while, we can stop believing that change is possible. Maybe after several challenging years, you can’t imagine your marriage ever being amazing or your finances being anything but strained. But a negative focus breeds feelings of hopelessness. The paralyzed man had stopped focusing on what he desired. Instead, all he could see was his discouraging situation. Yet all of that instantly changed when Jesus healed him.

Are you facing circumstances that seem hopeless? I challenge you to stay focused on Jesus. Then return to believing things will change because, when Jesus is involved, they absolutely will!

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