Overcoming Anxiety: Depending On Jesus

Sometimes we feel like we know how to get better but just can't get there. In those times, we must rely on Jesus.
August 31, 2023

John 5:1-17 is a passage that can help in times of anxiety. Here are a few things seen in this passage.

  • There is a pool that heals.
  • There are people all around it that need some sort of healing; specifically, one man is an invalid, which means his legs do not work.
  • Jesus asks if this one specific man wants to be healed.
  • The invalid does want healing, but there is no one to help him.
  • Jesus heals him.
  • When the Jews asked why he took up his bed on this day of rest. The man replied that the one who healed me told me to.

Think about that passage for a second. You have this magical pool that heals one person at a time, and it randomly activates its powers, so you have a bunch of disabled people just sitting around. Jesus picks this one man who has no use of his legs. Imagine for a second how you might feel being this man. We don’t know how long he has been there if he used to have friends that gave up on him, or if anyone ever talked with him, in this culture, they did not understand disabilities, so they were outcasts of society. 

As Jesus asks him if he wants to be healed, I can imagine his eyes welling up with tears and having that look in his eyes that this is what I have wanted for so long. He has probably searched every way possible, looking for healing, looking for relief. He found a way, this pool. However; every time he gets close to healing, someone else jumps in front and receives it. Can you feel his desperation?

Jesus says such simple praise, “Get up, take up your bed and walk.” No explanation, no need to do anything for this healing. Just a gift! And Jesus moves on into the crowd. The man stands, and for the first time in who knows how long he can take up his bed. 

Later, Jesus and the man who was an invalid earlier that day, meet in the temple. First, don’t miss it! The man went to the temple and praised and worshiped God. Whether the act of God is big or small, the first thing we should do is worship Him!! Then Jesus says, “Sin no more than nothing worse may happen to you.” We are not told what sin Jesus is referring to, but my guess is the sin of unbelief in God. I can see the invalid sitting at the poolside for years getting passed by and not cared for, I can see him feeling abandoned by God and lacking faith in future blessings. This is an easy place for any of us to get to. When your prayers don’t seem to be answered, or things just keep getting worse, the anxiety builds. But if we keep our minds on the proper things (Philippians 4:7), pray to our God, and trust Him that He hears and is working out a glorious plan, that is where hope lives!

God longs for us to feel close and connected with Him! Guess what? He never moves! He is right there all the time. Instead of asking for Him to be close to us, ask Him to help us see how close He is to truly feel His presence and understand His love for us.


Father, be with us in a real way today. Help us feel your presence today. Help us to feel your loving arms around us, comforting us. We long to let you control our lives, teach our hearts to do that. Transform our brains to that pattern of thought. We give this to you today and every day forward. Thank you, Amen.