Put Your Eyes on Jesus to Renew Hope in Hopeless Situations John 5:1-18

by | Discipline, Examen, Faith, Forgiveness, Prayer

Have you ever said under your breath about another person, “Oh they will never change?” Sadly, I have, many times.

I’m Glad Someone Didn’t Give Up On Me

I can think of many instances where I gave up on a kid in a youth group, or gave up on a participant on a wilderness trip because they annoyed me or seemed unresponsive to any kind of guidance. As I think about my own life, I’m really glad that the couple youth workers who pursued me when I was in high school, did not give up on me. They probably should have in all human standards. For probably two years I was mostly unresponsive to their gentle nudges towards Jesus. Yet they kept their eyes on Jesus, and thankfully after those two frustrating years for them I finally had my eyes opened to the Gospel.

Giving Up Hope Sadly Shows Us We’ve Probably Taken Our Eyes Off Of Jesus

It is hard to admit that giving up on someone is actually prideful and lacks faith. But it is. Maybe God even allows us to have difficult relationships to further root out pride and establish our faith in him more firmly. This continues to be true in my life.
put your eyes on Jesus to renew hope in hopeless situations
The man in the story by the pool in John 6:1-18,was hopeless by any normal human standards. Paralyzed for 38 years, it seemed like he was without hope of healing. Then Jesus came along. With just a short phrase, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk,” the man was completely healed.
Probably all of us have people in our lives who we have given up on. Maybe they have been mean to us or hurtful. Maybe they are a prodigal, or recklessly giving into a life of sin. This story may challenge your perspective. There is no one outside of the mercy and transformation of the Lord Jesus. All he has to do is just speak the word. He can renew hope.

Who Have You Given Up On?

Think of someone you know, who you have given up on. Imagine them in your mind, for a moment. Take some time to forgive them if they have hurt you or sinned against you. Then place your faith in Jesus, believing that he can step in and change their life. Spend some time in repentance for your lack of faith in regard to the potential for that person to be transformed by the Gospel. Let him renew hope in you. Don’t be tethered to that person who has hurt you or sinned against you, placing your eyes on them and all that they have done to you. Instead put your eyes on Jesus and see him in this story as one who literally can change the course of someone’s life in an instant.

Jesus Can

Let’s have the faith of Noah who for decades built a ship having never seen rain, and re-establish ourselves in the faith of Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.”

Reflection:

  1. Identify a person or two on whom you have given up hope that they could be transformed by the Gospel.
  2. Repent of your lack of faith and any ways you have taken your eyes off of Jesus in that relationship.
  3. Offer a prayer of faith, begging Jesus to just say a Word to open the eyes of the people in your mind, to fully restore them, soul, heart, mind, and body. 
  4. Make a commitment in your next interactions with these people in whom you have lost hope to put your eyes on Jesus while you interact with them rather than putting your eyes on them… and see how your faith in Jesus is strengthened.
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