In the next chapter in our class, “Battlefield of the Mind”, we are studying about the condition of a doubtful and unbelieving mind. This upcoming lesson reminds me of an allegorical poem by Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen.
Faith goes for a walk in a forest named Doubt. Faith becomes lost, and meets a person named Despair. Despair assures Faith that he can lead her out of the forest of Doubt. Despair leads Faith to a river called Suicide and tells her to jump in. Just as Faith is about to jump into the river, Hope comes along, takes Faith by the hand, and leads her away from Despair and out of Doubt.
How many of us wander through a forest of doubt everyday, grab hold of despair, and follow him instead of hope? Despair's mission is to destroy hope, and bring spiritual death to your faith. At this point the stage is set for hope's entrance, but somehow hope is stuck in the wings. Perhaps we wait for hope to gallop on to our stage as a knight on a white horse. Most often, though, hope enters as a tiny spark which, when fanned into a flame, has the potential to grow into great faith.
Doubt is a state of mind, but disbelief is a state of your spirit. Disbelief is the result of spiritual death. Doubt hears Jesus knocking at the door, and longs to open it. Disbelief doesn't even hear His knock (Revelation 3:21).When despair pulls you down to the point of spiritual death, and disbelief has overwhelmed your spirit, you forget that there is any hope.
However, Jesus Christ died so that you might have hope! Consider Jesus Christ as Hope in Spenser's poem. He is the Savior that comes as a still small voice and speaks to your despair—encouraging you not to sink into the depths of disbelief. If you allow He guides you away from spiritual death toward a life of faith and belief in Him.
“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" Jesus asked Martha after raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:40). Hope takes Faith by the hand, and leads her away from Despair and out of Doubt. Jesus waits for you to place your hand into His wounded one and trust Him. Don’t follow Despair around in your forest of Doubt. Despair will lead you to the river and tell you to its all over. But Faith will build a bridge and speak hope to your promise. Reach up and grasp Jesus' wounded hand, and believe.