Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Key Called Promise



I've been wanting to make this post ever since Sunday night's sermon, but I'm just getting to it. As you probably already know, next to the Bible, The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan is the most widely read book in the English language. Not only has it been translated into over two hundred languages, but it's still alive and quite well after having been first published in 1678. It has never gone out of print. Isn't that remarkable? If you've never read it, I urge you to do so and to introduce it to your children. There are versions for the younger folks, you know, and there are tapes that can be gotten.

You may also be familiar with the part of the story where Christian unfortunately leads his friend Hopeful out the the way by attempting an easier path, a poor choice, where they find themselves in all kinds of difficulties, last of which is on the grounds of Doubting Castle, owned by Giant Despair. The old giant was, of course, determined to do them in and they were at their wit's end when on Saturday about midnight they began to pray and continued to do so until almost dawn. It is here that Mr. Bunyan ingeniously weaves in a truth that we all must remember:

Now a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out in this passionate speech: What a fool, quoth he, 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. Then said Hopeful, That's good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom and try.

And so Christian did pull it out of his bosom and he tried and opened every door so that they eventually escaped from that horrible place and made it back to the King's highway and were safely away from the giant's jurisdiction. All of us have that key, you know, and it doesn't matter what the circumstances might be.

This has been a week of sad news. Actually, every week we'll hear of sad news. My point here is that I hope those undergoing trials will remember this key. As believers, we have it in our bosoms, and it will unlock the doors that close us into despair and doubts. For some it's particularly difficult--the many saints who are being persecuted as well as those who are going through trials. How easy it would be for the Christians in Myanmar and China to despair right now. The pain and grief inflicted on the Chapman family at this time could bring doubts of the goodness of God. I hope these and the many others who are groping in dark times will read the many promises given by our God in His Word--there is the key that will unlock any doors that would keep them from finding the way of faith.

11 comments:

Mimi said...

May we always remember that we have the key to unlock the doors that close us into despair and doubts.
thank you for this inspiring post...
Mimi

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Thanks for a compassionate and thoughtful post. Blessings.

Patty said...

Thank you Maxine for sharing this today..Bless you.
Patty

sparrow's song said...

I think that we suffer limitations because we're keeping our eyes on self. Such is the case with myself. As with good Christian, it finally dawned on Him that he had a higher strength from which to draw. I wonder if God doesn't just patiently wait till we find that truth and then graciously provide what we need.

I pray the same supernatural strength and comfort, and more, for the Chapman family that God has evidenced to me in my times of great need.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Beautiful post dear Maxine, because God's promises are the keys to life.

Thanks for reminding me of this book today. We have a children's version of it that I wrote a script for a children's play (many years ago, my oldest was in the play at our church when he was about 8 or so).

My youngest son who has a much different tempermant (after having a soccer game and a friend's birthday party today is "despairing" with "nothing" to do...) I think we'll get out our children's version of the book and start to read it again...

Have a wonderful weekend. And I am praying for the Chapman family too.

Mishel said...

Yes, it has been a week of sad news...and thank you for the reminder that even in the sadness and grief, we have One that walks with us and is always faithful to see us through the most difficult of circumstances.

Blessings to you!

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Dear Maxine, beautiful post, beautiful hope, beautiful key. We are so blessed as Christians to carry the "key called promise."

I am going to link you to my blog for this week under "post of the week."

I hope you don't mind. connie from texas

Maxine said...

Aww, Connie, thanks so much. What an honor. Isn't it beautiful--the provisions that Christ has made for us?

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Dear Maxine, you are very welcome, thank you. There is nothing MORE beautiful. connie from Texas

Kimmie said...

Dear Maxine,
I have been through a very dark and difficult time over the past three years. I lost my Mother 19 months ago and my Dad on May 5th. Both were sudden. I have been ill since March of 2006. Life has put so much on my plate, but I will not surrender, I keep my eye on Our Lord and I Trust that he is walking beside me, fore I know he will never leave me or forsake me. "The key to promise". I like how that sounds, it is uplifting. I will have to get the book you speak of. Thank You so much, it is so comforting to read something so beautiful as this. It reminds me that there is Hope.
Blessings,
Kimmie

Maxine said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Kimmie; I'm thankful that the Lord brought His promises to your mind through this post. The one you quoted is one of my favorites of His promises--He'll never leave us or forsake us. You can get the book almost anywhere that Christian books are sold. Thanks for visiting and I'll be praying for you in your trials.