Friday, September 22, 2023

Freedom from Doubt and Despair

By: Lauren Thomas 

Have you ever struggled with despair and doubt? If so, you understand how doubt and despair can feel like a dungeon, or prison. How do you get out of a dungeon? 

In John Bunyan’s allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, a man named Christian is traveling to Zion, the Celestial City. Along the way, he meets with many dangers that threaten his soul. One such danger is being caught by one, Giant Despair, who imprisons Christian in a dungeon in Castle Doubt. There, Christian is tempted to take his own life, were it not for his traveling companion, “Hopeful.” While in the dungeon of Castle Doubt, Christian discovers he has a key that will unlock any lock, door, or gate in the castle. That key is called Promise. 


In this poignant picture of how doubt and despair threaten to overcome us in our Christian journey, we see the power of Promise and Hope. By claiming the promises of God and holding onto our Hope of Glory, we are able to find freedom from doubt and despair. 


I wonder what keys, what promises, you need in your grasp to find freedom from a dungeon of doubt and despair? Here are just a couple such promises:


It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)


28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 28:11 (ESV)


18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

John 14:18-19 (ESV)


because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9, 13 (ESV)


But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Isaiah 43:1-3a (ESV)


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (ESV)


the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV)



What keys (promises) have helped you out of the dungeon of doubt and despair?

Will you commit to find and memorize a Bible promise to be your special “key”?


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