I recently watched a sermon titled “help is on the way” from Elevation Church and decided to reflect and consolidate my thoughts on the message. The sermon revolves around John 5 and the healing of an invalid at the pool. Jesus tells the invalid man to pick up his mat and walk, and he is able to do so. After this, the man proceeds to tell everyone around him of his healing. Although at first glance this might appear to be in Jesus’ favour, in reality this represented a deflection of blame on to Jesus- as the invalid was confronted by the Pharisees and asked how he was healed on the Sabbath, a day when traditionally no work should be done. He displays characteristics of disbelief, carelessness and a lack of faith. In fact, he is directly contrasted to the woman who clutched Jesus’ cloak in the hopes of becoming healed (Mark 5:25-34) , and the Officer who sent for help from Jesus when his child fell sick (John 4:43-54)). These were people with faith and hope – people who we, as Christians, should model ourselves after.
In addition, this passage actually holds a deeper message and more profound implications if we look closer: Gods healing does not depend on the quality or quantity of a persons faith. The invalid showed no sign of faith or gratitude for what Jesus had done. Rather, he continued with disbelief and indifference. According to the gospel of John, there is no greater sin than disbelief. After all, God so loved the world that he gave his one and only sin that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
For those of us who already have faith in God, the struggle can be waiting on God. This is something that I have personally found difficult because I don’t know how long I should be waiting for or what waiting looks like. But, as I was reminded in the sermon, as we wait on God, he can give us the ability to go from a position of struggle to one of surrender. As Christians, we already know that God has promised that he has certain plans for us, plans for us to prosper and not to fail. But there is not necessarily merit to be gained by remaining solely fixated on what we believe to be our ideal plan. What we need is to reach out to God so that he can come alongside us and help us step out of our doubts in to Gods grace; to step out with courage and clarity.
On a final note, the sermon highlighted that the promises of God are always preceded with an instruction. While we wait on God we must be receptive to receiving instructions from him, because the Bible tells us: “”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” All it takes is the willingness to obey the Word and to wait on it.