My students are reading Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. I chose that book because I knew that they would learn spiritual truths. I have learned many as well; I will share some of what I learned. I hope that these thoughts will be a help to you, and even encourage you to read the book yourself.
Pliable was a man who left the City of Destruction, their hometown, to go with Christian to the Celestial City. Pliable was happy to be on his way, excited about the future prospects until they faced a difficulty. The difficulty was the Slough of Despond. Pliable did not trust what the Bible said. He was not expecting any difficulty, so falling into the slough offended him. We read about him later in the book and find out that he did not do well back in his hometown. He was embarrassed, afraid to meet people face to face. He ended up slinking around town and lacking the courage to head back on the journey to the Celestial City. His lack of trust in God and his easily offended nature got him nothing.
Christian learned to use the promises of God which are the steps that lead out of the slough. They are always there, and they are strong. People miss seeing them, the promises, because they are looking at the slough instead. This caught my attention, because it is so easy to forget the promises of God. We need to memorize the promises and hang onto them in times of difficulty. They are the only substantial things that can help us when we are discouraged and in a Slough of Despond ourselves.
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.