You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

Just Keep Swimming

Hope Assurance Motivation

Source: Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, et al

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-02-09

Scripture: Titus 1:2 ; 2 Corinthians 5:5

Author: Illustration Exchange


Curt Paul Richter was a Harvard and Johns Hopkins educated biologist, psychobiologist and geneticist, who served for many years as director of Johns Hopkins’ psychiatric clinic, where he served until becoming professor of psychobiology in 1957. 

He made many important contributions to the fields of biology and psychobiology. One of his most famous experiments involved drowning rats – a study which, today, would probably land him in jail for animal cruelty.

He knew that rats had a reputation for being able to swim for exceedingly long periods of time (in excess of 50 hours!). Yet when he placed rats in a tightly confined bucket of water, they quickly discovered they had no means of outlet, no means of relief, and literally gave up, allowing themselves to simply sink to the bottom, and drowning, on average, within about 15 minutes.

He knew they had the “physical” ability to continue swimming much longer, so concluded they must have felt both helpless and hopeless. So he tried again, this time pulling the rats from the water once he saw them beginning to struggle. He let them rest for a short time before returning them to the bucket. They once again began swimming, testing the confines of their surroundings, but instead of giving up and allowing themselves to sink and drown, they kept swimming! And swimming! And swimming! Many swam up to 60 hours until their bodies could simply no longer endure.

What was the difference between these two groups of rats? Richter concluded the difference was HOPE -- that “feeling of expectation” that a particular outcome or desire will come to pass (Google Dictionary), “to look forward to [something] with desire and reasonable confidence” (

These drowning rats had been saved once, so they were instilled with the hope – the expectation, the reasonable confidence -- of eventual rescue yet again. Sadly, their hope was misplaced. Their motivation to battle the fatigue, battle the seemingly impossible circumstances, and just keep swimming still landed them in the bottom of the bucket.


Hope is an amazing motivator. And when it is well placed, it is a lifeline. 

To the Christian, who has placed their hope squarely in the promises of God, our “feeling of expectation” is much more than a feeling.  It is an assured confidence “in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began" (Titus 1:2). It is that knowledge and confidence in Christ’s finished work on our behalf that will ultimately result in our salvation and eternal life,

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal … so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Cor 4:16–5:5).

Life gets hard folks. You may feel hemmed in on every side, with no visible means of relief or escape. Your body, not to mention your mind and spirit, may want to just give up. But, in the immortal words of Disney’s Dory, “Just keep swimming!” 

Allow the assured promises of God to keep you motivated. Death will be swallowed up in life. He has given you His Spirit as a guarantee of the salvation and glorification which is to come!

Holding the Reservation

Eternal Security False Hope Assurance

Source: Seinfeld Season 3, episode 11

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Jim Stephenson | Date Posted: 2020-09-13

Scripture: Jude 1:24 ; John 14:3

Author: Larry David


Jerry: I made a reservation for a mid-size...

Rental Car Agent: Okay, ler' see here. I'm sorry, we have no midsize available at the moment.

Jerry: I don't understand. Do you have my reservation?

Rental Car Agent: We have your reservation, we just ran out of cars.

Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the reservation.

Rental Car Agent: I think I know why we have reservations.

Jerry: I don't think you do. You see, you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation. And that's really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them.


Do you have a reservation in Heaven? Various world religions claim to provide reservations in Heaven for their adherents, but only God can hold them. That was precisely Jesus' promise when He said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am" (John 14:1-3, NLT). 

Think about it. What good is a religion that only takes reservations? But Jesus not only makes the reservation, He also holds it for us! 

Disaster On The East River

Easter Assurance Salvation

Source: "NTSB Releases Preliminary Report On Deadly East River Helicopter Crash" by Staff Writers, CBS New York, March 26, 2018

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-03-31

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8

Author: Illustration Exchange


Nine years after "The Miracle on the Hudson," tragedy takes place on the East River as 5 five lives are lost in a helicopter crash.  The New York helicopter crash that killed everyone on board except the pilot was caused by a series of safety failures. The ill-fated flight had been chartered for a private photo shoot by the five passengers. 

The fuel shut off valve was intended to be a safety feature but was accidentally engaged during the flight, forcing the helicopter into an emergency landing.  The floatation devices were intended to keep the helicopter from sinking but inflated improperly, causing the craft to flip on its side and quickly take on water.  The harnesses were promoted in advertising to reassure those who might feel skittish about leaning out of an open door helicopter flight but instead served to trap the five passengers, sealing their tragic fate.

Three separate safety features actually worked together to do exactly the opposite of what they were supposed to do—save lives.   They promised security but delivered disaster.


Every year there are those who attend Easter service believing that they are spiritually secure.  After all, they call themselves Christians.  They were born in a Christian family.  They attend church services during the important holidays.  They try to be a good person.  They give to charity.  They treat others the way they hope to be treated.  As they look at all the things they do, they feel they’re going to land safe and sound at their eternal destination. 

What they don’t know is that the very things they’re counting on to securely deliver them will end up working toward their demise.  That's because their confidence in church membership, church attendance, and their own good deeds can't replace the only real source of salvation—the finished work of Jesus. 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Death Makes An Appearance

Death Denial Assurance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-11-09

Scripture: Psalms 23:4 ; 1 Corinthians 15:55

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Billy Graham's New Suit

Heaven Assurance Eternal Life

Contributed By: Paul Lingren | Date Posted: 2016-07-30

Scripture: John 11:25 ; John 6:40

Author: Billy Graham

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

ISIS Afraid Of Girls

Assurance Salvation Faith

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-02-27

Scripture: Acts 16:31

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

A Broken Promise Is More Than A Broken Promise

God's Promises Empathy Assurance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-29

Scripture: Hebrews 4:15 ; James 5:12

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Fish Do Not Live On Bread Alone

Word of God Assurance Spiritual Warfare

Contributed By: Vicente Bejo | Date Posted: 2015-07-17

Scripture: Matthew 4:4

Author: Vicente Bejo

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Not More Secure

Assurance God's Promises Eternal Security

Contributed By: Anthony Edwards | Date Posted: 2014-10-20

Scripture: John 10:28

Author: Anthony Edwards

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Believe Your Father

Lies God's Love Assurance

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2014-07-17

Scripture: Romans 8:38

Author: Marvin Winans

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or