An Application of Bunyan – The Great Escape

February 24, 2020 | by James M. Harrison

Sometimes, the answer to our difficulties has been right there all the time.  After enduring great suffering at the hands of Giant Despair, that was the discovery made by Christian and Hopeful.

Though the Giant had encouraged them to take their own lives, arguing that their future would consist of nothing but further suffering and pain, the pilgrim’s remembered the command of the Lord of the country to which they traveled.  That Lord commanded, “Thou shalt not kill”, and Christian and Pilgrim understood that command to forbid the taking of their own lives, as well as the lives of others.  And so they had determined to endure their trial until a way of escape presented itself.

Neither the Giant, nor his wife, could understand how the pilgrims could continue living, day after day, imprisoned in their dungeon, enduring beating after beating, and yet maintain hope.  Of course, this evil couple knew nothing of the Lord to which the pilgrims belonged.

Christian and Hopeful were sustained in their suffering, through their communion with the Lord they had come to know.  On one night in particular, beginning around midnight, they began to pray, and continued throughout the night, almost until dawn.  It was then, just before daybreak, that Christian broke from his prayer and cried out excitedly.

“What a fool am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty!  I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting-Castle.”

Hopeful encouraged him to use the key in their cell door.  Perhaps this would be their way of escape.

Christian took the key and placed it in the lock. The bolt turned, the door opened, and Christian and Hopeful fled, finding that the key also opened the outer doors leading to the castle yard, and the Iron Gate, as well.  In moments, they found themselves once more on the King’s Highway, and continued on their way to the Celestial City.  Such is the power of the promises of God. 

Like the key utilized by Christian and Hopeful, the promises of God are ours even in the midst of trial, and suffering, and pain.  When all around is darkness, when hope seems lost, when despair has overtaken us, when we believe the lie that there is no help to be found, the promises of God yet remain.  We must simply remember…and trust.

Remember the promise that He is always with us.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Remember the promise that God is always in control.

“I am the Lord, and there is no other.  The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity.  I am the Lord who does all these things.”  Isaiah 45:6-7

Remember the promise that God is always good.

O taste and see that the Lord is good.  How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

Remember the promise that God knows your suffering.

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15

Remember the promise that God never fails.

“In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”  Ephesians 1:11

Remember the promise of glory which awaits.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  Romans 8:18

God has given us many other promises, of course.  But there is one promise that stands over all the rest, assuring us that these promises are ours.

“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.”  2 Corinthians 1:20

Remember the promises of God, and remembering, be set free from despair, and travel on to glory.

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