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In one section of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Christian and Hopeful are walking the King's Highway to the Celestial City. The path, once smooth and easy, becomes rough and hard. Then they come to an attractive place called Bypath Meadow. They climb over a fence into the meadow and the new path becomes easy again. But only for a time.

Soon the new path became rugged and steep. A terrible storm breaks overhead. Exhausted by the effort to continue, Christian and Hopeful lie down and fall asleep. Suddenly they are awakened by the owner of the meadow, the Giant of Despair, who drags them to Doubting Castle and throws them into a dungeon where he taunts them, beats them and starves them. Hurt and confused, they despair.

Finally, Christian and Hopeful begin to pray. Then Christian remembers that he is carrying in his packet a key called Promise. Quickly he uses it to open the doors of the dungeon, and then the gate of the castle. Freedom! Soon they were on the King's Highway again.

Are you doubting? Filled with despair? Perhaps same where along the line you chose to leave God's will to enter some pleasurable bypath. If so, came back to Jesus. Confess your sin. Accept His promise of forgiveness. Return to the right path.

(Our Daily Bread. From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, Guard Your Heart, 9/1/2011)

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