Pilgrim’s Progress

2 Kings 9-10, Psalm 49, Matthew 7

Matthew 7:14 (ESV) For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

One story captures this idea of a narrow gate and a difficult path better than any.  It is Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan.  The story is about a journey of a man named, Christian.  Throughout the story, Christian faces various challenges and meets characters like Evangelist, Faithful, and Hopeful, who aid him in staying on the narrow path. He endures the Slough of Despond, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and battles with Apollyon and the temptations of Vanity Fair. These trials test his commitment to righteousness and deepen his reliance on God’s grace.

All too often, however, we fail to stay on the path.  Perhaps it happens most when we encounter difficulty.  Bunyan describes it excellently.

As Christian proceeds on the narrow path, he comes to a foot of a hill called “difficulty.”  “There were also in the same place two other paths besides that which came straight from the gate; one turned to the left and the other to the right at the bottom of the hill, but the narrow path went right up the hill, and it was called Difficulty. Christian now went to the spring and drank to refresh himself and then began to go up the hill, saying:

The hill, though high, I covet to ascend,

The difficulty will not me offend;

For I perceive the way to life lies here.

Come, pluck up heart, let’s neither faint nor fear;

Better, though difficult, the right way to go,

Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.”


Bunyan, John. The New Pilgrim’s Progress . Discovery House. Kindle Edition.