Choosing the Promise Over the Problem

Choosing the Promise Over the Problem


John 5:1-9 (NIV)

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath.

It’s easy to focus on the problems and difficulties in our lives rather than the promises of God. Life often presents us with problems, obstacles, and challenges that seem insurmountable. Yet, in John 5:1-9, we encounter a profound story of healing that illustrates the power of shifting our focus from the problem to the promise. This account of Jesus healing the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda serves as a powerful reminder that God’s promises are greater than any problem we may face.

When Jesus approached him and asked, “Do you want to get well?” it may have seemed like an odd question. Of course, he wanted to be healed. However, Jesus was challenging him to shift his focus from the problem—the impossibility of reaching the pool first—to the promise of healing through faith.

The first step in shifting our focus is to acknowledge the problem. Just as the paralyzed man was aware of his condition, we must identify and acknowledge the challenges in our lives. What problems or obstacles are you currently facing? Take a moment to honestly confront them.

God’s promises are available to us through faith. We must embrace the promises found in God’s Word, knowing that they are greater than any problem we encounter.

Then we exercise our faith. Faith is the bridge that connects us to God’s promises. The paralyzed man demonstrated faith by obeying Jesus’ command to get up. To shift our focus from problem to promise, we must exercise faith in God’s ability to bring about the impossible. What promises from Scripture can you hold onto in your current situation? Trust that God is faithful to fulfill His Word.


What problems or challenges are currently consuming your thoughts and energy? How have they affected your perspective?

How can you exercise faith in the midst of your challenges? What steps can you take to align your actions with the promises of God?