Following Jesus 139
Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.
AS John Bunyan’s allegory continues, in the immediate aftermath of God’s delivering Christian from his great and heavy burden, and Christian’s encounter with the three shining ones (God the Father; God the Son; God the Holy Spirit), Christian is filled with the joy of his salvation.
He then meets three individuals who remind Christian of what he used to be. He wants to witness to them and to try and help them. Their names are Simple, Sloth and Presumption. They represent three types of indifference to the Word of the Cross. Simple says, “I see no danger.” Sloth says, “Let me sleep a little more.” Presumption says “I can make it myself without any help from anyone.” Because of these responses, Christian goes on his way.
Thereafter, Christian meets Formalist and Hypocrisy. Formalist is a person who practices religious rituals but does not possess true salvation (Matthew 7:21-23). Hypocrisy pretends to be a follower of Jesus but he lies.
It is interesting that immediately after Christian’s conversion and God delivering Christian from his great and heavy burden of guilt and sin, that Christian encounters the Hill of Difficulty.
Difficulties are troubles or struggles in the believer’s life. While difficulties and troubles may seem strange at first, they serve a purpose: to test our faith and to prove the reality of our conversion. Sometimes, like Christian, we go from running the Christian life to walking, to climbing, to crawling because the Hill of Difficulty is so steep.
- I have trouble asking for help for myself but please pray for me as I am having difficulty dealing with depression. Some days I feel I am doing so well but at other times I can barely make myself get out of bed. Most times I’m ok, but lately it’s been tough. Thank you. Deb Moran
- I am having difficulty overcoming anxiety. I worry over a lot of things. Just a comment from someone can send me into a fear state of what may happen or could happen.
- I am wrestling with the difficulty of cancer. I know God is in control, but it is hard to be a Christian when your head is in the toilet.
Other roads in life may seem easier, but they are filled with danger and destruction. Only when we have finally ascended to the peak of the Hill of Difficulty may we look back and see how God has led us all the way.
Simply put, the truth we must understand is that “life is hard, but God is good.”
What should our attitude and perspective be as we make our long and difficult climb up the Hill of Difficulty? Let’s turn of James 1:1-8. It is here that we not only see Scripture acknowledge the reality of difficulties for the Christian, but also our response to them.
Let’s see what God has to say about difficulties.
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