What is the lie of the enemy that has you locked in the dungeon of despair and hopelessness? I’ve been there before, and it’s an awful place to be. The lie could be anything. Perhaps he trifles with you regarding your salvation? Does he tell you that all others can be saved but you have no hope? Maybe he whispers to you that God will answer the prayers of others, but never yours. There is an answer, and John Bunyan reveals it in the story of his hero Christian, who found himself with his friend Hopeful locked in Doubting Castle in the Dungeon of Giant Despair. Read on and find hope…
Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of day.
Now a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out in 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.”
A key in Christian’s bosom, called Promise, opens any lock in Doubting Castle. Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the Dungeon door, whose bolt (as he turned the Key) gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out.
Then he went to the outward door that leads into the Castle-yard, and with his Key opened that door also. After he went to the iron Gate, for that must be opened too, but that Lock went damnable hard, yet the Key did open it. Then they thrust open the Gate to make their escape with speed; but that Gate as it opened made such a creaking, that it waked Giant Despair, who hastily rising to pursue his Prisoners, felt his limbs to fail, for his Fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the King’s High-way again, and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdiction.
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress