The Swamp of Despondency, [Pilgrim’s Progress]

 

Trapped, and unable to move

“Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
      Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
     For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
      from east and west,
      from north and south.

 4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
      lost and homeless.
 5 Hungry and thirsty,
      they nearly died.
 6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
      and he rescued them from their distress.”

             Psalms 107:2-6

Recently watched the new release of the movie “Pilgrim’s Progress” and I have to say, it’s remarkably close to the book, which often is not the case when a movie is based upon a book.  In his book, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan has written one of the most beautiful allegories about the journey we all travel as a believers.

The book describes the hero, Christian, and his journey from the City of Destruction to his heavenly destination, the Celestial City. Now there’s one part of Pilgrim’s Progress that I want to focus on today — walking through the Swamp of Despondency!

At one point during their travels, Christian and his companion suddenly find themselves there….in the Swamp of Despondency. Still bearing his burden, Christian, begins to sink in the mire.  His traveling companion manages to get out, but he returns to the City of Destruction without giving aid to Christian.  Christian is left all alone and sinking even deeper in the mire, until Help, the allegorical figure for the Holy Spirit, pulls him free from the swamp.

Christian then asks Help why this dangerous plot of land has not been mended so that poor travelers might go safely to the Celestial City. Help replies, “This miry slough is such a place that cannot be mended.”

How true it is in real life!  As hard as we try to avoid them, whether young in the Lord, or spiritually mature…swamps of despondency seem inevitable, and we must struggle through them!

Charles Spurgeon once wrote to his students in the book, “Lectures to my Students”,

  • “Fits of depression come over most of us.  Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down.
  • The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.
  • There may be here and there men of iron…but surely the rust frets even these.”

There are times in our lives when we will struggle through the swamps of despondency — but praise God that He has provided us a helper for those times of need!  We need to press through, seeking and trusting the power of the Holy Spirit to pull us out of those nasty swamps, and set our feet back upon the Rock of our salvation.

Let’s also look around us to see our brethren who may be struggling in the swamps of despondency, so that, rather than abandoning them, we might give them a hand on their journey to “the Celestial city”!

ybic, Bryan

 

Source: http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian/depression

 

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About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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One Response to The Swamp of Despondency, [Pilgrim’s Progress]

  1. I'mAllBooked says:

    Thanks for sharing my article on Pilgrim’s Progress – it’s one of my all-time favorite books! One of the ideas in the story that Bunyan brings out that I appreciate is that we are not meant to travel this journey of life alone. Thankfully, the Lord has given us the Holy Spirit to help and comfort, but He has also given us the Church – our fellow companions who provide encouragement, advice and support along the way. We need each other, and when we go through our own Sloughs of Despond, it equips us to help others when they go through a similar experience. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (II Corinthians 1: 3-4)!

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