The lions are chained

The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegorical story by John Bunyan. A man named Christian has left the City of Destruction and is headed toward the Celestial City. 

At one point in the story he is headed toward a place of rest and safety for travellers. It is called The Palace Beautiful. Standing before him are two roaring lions, one on each side of the narrow pathway. They are ferocious. What’s to be done?

Christian comes to learn that they are actually chained. They can roar and they can salivate and they can intimidate, but as long as Christian stays on the narrow path they won’t be able to hurt him. They might snap with their massive jaws within a few inches—and Christian’s heartrate increase!—but their chain is secure and they won’t be able to reach him.

That’s a powerful way to think about the fears in our lives. They may roar and intimidate, but if we are in Christ, they won’t be able to fully or finally hurt us. 

Think of what you’re afraid of. Have you started to believe lies such as ‘You’re all alone,’ ‘There’s no one to help,’ ‘Disaster is inevitable,’ ‘You can’t trust God or his word,’ and ‘Nothing can overcome your failures’? 

Many of our fears have grown disproportionately large to reality, kind of like a story that gets bigger and bolder every time it’s re-told. In a similar way, our fears grow unless we beat them back with the truth and assurance which God provides.

Deception loves to drag our hearts and minds through the muck of fear while trying to convince us that the lions aren’t chained.

But they are.

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).


–New Bible Study Podcast on John 11:1-27. It is called “Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and the antidote to fear.” You can click here to listen, or tune in wherever you subscribe to podcasts. 

–The illustration in today’s graphic is by H.C. Selous and M. Paolo Priolo and is in the public domain.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

You can also listen and subscribe wherever you enjoy podcasts:

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