Forging Through the Swamp of Despond
Scripture: Psalm 40:1-5 REB (see text below)
Our new sermon series is loosely based around John Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). Next to the Bible, this work is one of the most read books in the English language. In an epic and heroic journey of faith the lead character Christian faces distractions, challenges, and perils at every turn. But Christian ends victorious with helpful guides as he stays on the narrow path that leads to the distant Celestial City. This classic tale encourages us 21st century pilgrims to keep moving forward through our modern-day “American Ninja” obstacle courses with challenges like: forging across the Swamp of Despond, climbing the Hill of Difficulty, traversing the Valley of Humiliation, escaping Vanity Fair, crossing the Dark River, and making safe passage to the Celestial City. The key for us is to find purpose and meaning in our life challenges with the hope that, by the grace of God, progress is being made even as we are being tested and stretched every step of the way. Today, we forge our way through the mucky Swamp of Despond. Be sure to get your galoshes on for this one!
Psalm 40:1-5 (REB)
Patiently I waited for the Lord;
he bent down to me and listened to my cry.
He raised me out of the miry pit,
out of the mud and clay;
he set my feet on rock
and gave me a firm footing.
On my lips he put a new song,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will look with awe
and put their trust in the Lord.
Happy is he who puts his trust in the Lord
and does not look to the arrogant or the treacherous.
Lord my God, great things you have done;
Your wonders and your purposes are for our good;
none can compare with you.
I would proclaim them and speak of them,
but they are more than I can tell.
Revised English Bible (REB)
Scripture quotations taken from the Revised English Bible, copyright © Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press 1989. All rights reserved.
All Sermons by Dr. John C. Tittle are available in our Library of Sermons.
Sermon Art: Illustrations from the Henry Altemus edition of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Philadelphia, PA, 1895. Public Domain.
Featured image: Copperplate map, with added color, 34 × 45 cm, on sheet 41 × 51 cm [Historic Maps Collection] from “The Pilgrims Progress, or, Christians Journey from the City of Destruction in This Evil World to the Celestial City in the World That Is to Come” [London]: Published by J. Pitts (1813).
Other Sermons In This Series
October 18, 2020
October 04, 2020
October 25, 2020