Pilgrim’s Progress Chapter 7


The Hill of Difficulty

Christian, Formalist and Hypocrisy reached a hill called Difficulty where there was a spring at the bottom. Formalist and Hypocrisy saw that the hill was steep and high, and went on two other ways, namely on the road of Danger and Destruction. However, Christian sought to climb the steep hill and halfway up, he rested at an arbour. He fell into a slumber but was awakened after. Timorous and Mistrust met him at the top of the hill and they were on their way back down. They found the danger of lions too daunting, but Christian pressed on. He wanted to pull out the roll he received from the Shining Ones to comfort himself but he could not find it. Christian realized he lost it when he fell asleep and was distressed. He went back to look for the roll and repented of his foolish decision to sleep. At last, he found the roll and was overjoyed.

There was a palace called Beautiful where Christian wanted to lodge. The Porter introduced him to Prudence, Piety and Charity who inquired Christian of his journey so far. They strengthened him with God’s word and showed him some of the rarities of the palace, including the armour of God and many other excellent things. When Christian was fully armed, he asked the porter if there were any other pilgrims. The porter said there was one called Faithful, which Christian recognized as a neighbour from the same place he came from. So Christian continued on his way.
Reflection Questions
1. What is the significance of the hill called Difficulty? What kind of hills have you experienced that have challenged you as a Christian?
2. What does Christian’s slumber represent? How does this sort of spiritual “sleep” affect a person’s sense of assurance?
3. Why is it important for believers to share their stories with one another?
4. Christian was asked to answer many questions about his journey. After learning about Christian’s failures and shortcomings, how did the people of the house treat him? What can we learn from this, and how can we apply it to our own churches?

Library Staff

(Image credit: Redeemed Reader)


One thought on “Pilgrim’s Progress Chapter 7

  1. In this chapter on the Hill of Difficulty, there are many good reminders on how believers are to go about on the journey of the Christian life. The main character, Christian, has just been relieved of his burden and he immediately meets three men at the bottom of the cross. These three, Simple, Sloth, and Presumption, are reminders that the Christian life requires us to persevere. The apostle Paul mentions that we are to run to win the prize and to fight the good fight. I think Bunyan is warning believers again that easy believism is not genuine faith. Truth faith means that we now live in the Spirit and are to be continually transformed into Christlikeness. We do not stay in an immature state but by the Spirit’s indwelling we strive to walk in increasing holiness. Christian also meets Hypocrisy and Formalist, both of which took a shortcut to arrive on the path. This is again a reminder that we need Christ’s righteousness in order to be reconciled to God and not superficial belief. Near the end of the chapter, Christian himself falls into self-satisfaction and ends up sleeping instead of just stopping for a rest to continue his journey. On the contrary, as ones who have been washed by the blood of Christ, we are to continually persevere and walk in step with the Spirit all the days of our lives.

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