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How to Overcome Fear of the Unknown & Embrace Change

If you want to embrace change, the biggest thing standing in your way may be yourself.

Mental Health
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Do you ever find yourself stuck in a loop, dealing with the same struggles over and over again? You feel like you’re held captive by your situation, and moving forward feels impossible. 

But what if moving forward is possible, and the only thing in your way is yourself? Specifically, your deep-seated fear of the unknown? 

How to overcome fear of the unknown and embrace change 

In John 5:1-5, we encounter a scene in Jerusalem, where a pool called Bethesda stood. This wasn't just any ordinary pool. People believed the pool could offer miraculous healing anytime the waters were stirred up. 

This story introduces us to a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years confined to a mat, clinging to the slim hope that maybe, just maybe, he could be the first into the water when it rippled with healing potential. If you've ever experienced the sting of unmet expectations or felt trapped in a cycle of despair, you probably know what this man was going through. 

Jesus entered the scene and asked a seemingly straightforward question: "Would you like to get well?" (John 5:6). 

What an odd question! Of course, he wants to be healed. But Jesus isn't just talking about physical healing; He's digging deeper, inviting the man to confront the barriers that have held him captive for nearly four decades. In his response, the man reveals a familiar pattern—one that many of us can relate to.  

Think outside the box 

When asked by Jesus if he wants to get well, the man doesn’t respond with a resounding “Yes!” - in fact, he starts listing reasons why he can’t get well. There’s no one around to help him into the pool, for instance. After all, he can’t get into the pool by himself. No help, no pool, no healing. It’s as simple as that. 

How often do we, like this man, fixate on external solutions or rely on familiar comforts, even when they offer no true relief? We cling to our "if only" statements, believing that certain circumstances or people hold the key to our future healing. 

The first step to embrace change is to think outside the box. Perhaps there’s something you aren’t considering that will bring you the hope and relief you’re looking for.  

Take a step of faith 

While the man waits by the pool, Jesus – his true hope – is standing right in front of him. Jesus' question challenges us to examine our own hearts: do we really desire healing and transformation, even if it may mean stepping out of our comfort zone? 

Because here's the reality: The longer we live with our problems, the more entrenched they become. We grow accustomed to our pain, our addictions, our unhealthy patterns—and they become our default mode of existence.  

When we take that first step out of our comfort zone and into faith, we move toward lasting change and true healing. But there may be some difficult good-byes along the way. 

Let go of what no longer serves you 

Answering Jesus’ question of “Do you want to get well?” requires humility and honesty. We’re prompted to look at our lives and make an honest evaluation of our current habits and admit where we might be getting in our own way. Things like reckless spending, alcohol abuse, and porn addiction don’t magically disappear with enough willpower.  

Changes like these can’t be made alone – otherwise we’d never habitually return to the habits that hold us back. We need to follow Jesus in order to experience lasting release – but in order to follow Jesus, we need to walk. We need to move

Do you want to get well? 

Jesus refuses to leave you in your comfort zone. But he also can’t heal what we pretend isn’t broken. He beckons us to embrace change – however uncomfortable – and trust his power to heal and restore. If you want to get well, it’s time to get up and follow him. Take Jesus at his word:  

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 


It’s easy to get bogged down by long-term struggles or recurring hardships in life. Here’s how to not give up when life gets hard


LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!

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