A guest blog by Mesu Andrews
Mesu Andrews has had a passionate love of God’s Words for a long time. She spends countless hours studying Scripture and historical reference materials to ensure her biblical fiction not only resonates as a powerful story, but reflects what it really was like to live in those days. Her heart’s goal is not just to entertain, but, in her own words, “to reach folks with well-researched, engaging biblical novels that send the reader straight back to Scripture, hungry for the Truth of God’s Word.” Mesu and her husband, Roy, live in the Pacific Northwest.
Mark Lowry is one of my favorite comedians. I heard one of his performances many years ago, and he quoted a single, profound phrase found 457 times in the King James Bible: “It came to pass…”
That’s it. That’s all.
It came…to pass.
And then he challenged the audience to remember those words the next time they faced an impossible situation, the depths of discouragement, or “a bout of constipation.” (Lowry’s words, not mine.)
I’ve needed that reminder during my writing journey: Discouragement will pass. And I decided if anyone could to teach me about discouragement, it was Brother Job. That poor guy lost his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, and children—and was left with a surly wife. Eee-gad!
So, I dove—headfirst—into the mire of Job’s whining and ranting. After reading a few chapters , my life didn’t seem so awful! And I learned things everyone should know when they struggle with discouragement:
- Know yourself
- Know your enemy
- Know your Champion
The world says look inward to know ourselves, but Job 1 shows us how God knows us. Read the Lord’s description of His servant Job:
“There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Job 1:8
God lauded four qualities—none of which included sinlessness. Granted, God was impressed with Job. But Job had not been washed in the precious blood of Jesus. Only Jesus was without sin and gave His life as a perfect ransom for you and me.
Now, you and I approach the Throne of Grace as God’s children. He’s not just impressed—He’s enthralled as a Father, and He loves, protects, and meets the needs His kids.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
You and I are children of the Most High God. Embrace it. Trust it. Know it. For in doing so, you’ll know yourself.
Know Your Enemy
Do you remember how helpful Job’s friends were? How they blamed Job’s problems on his hidden sin (Job 4:7-11). Good ol’ Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar even told Job his kids died because they sinned (Job 8:4), or perhaps it was something Job had done (Job 21:19). Nice, right? They almost had Job convinced that God was unfair, unfaithful, unattainable, and untrustworthy…
“When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, he blindfolds its judges. If it is not he, then who is it?” Job 9:24
This short verse, hidden among Job’s questions and his friends’ accusations, shouts through the megaphone of Old Testament limitation. Chronologically, Job is one of (if not the) oldest books in the Canon of Scripture. Its author (thought to be Moses) knew of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and through the Spirit was privy to the heavenly scenes in chapters one and two of Job. But Job knew only God. His knowledge of evil was limited.
We have no such limitation. We know our enemy:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
So, when disappointment, discouragement, and despair attack, we know the enemy of our souls is at work—and we must rely on our Champion to save us.
Know Your Champion
Job is truly amazing. If I was a betting woman, I’d bet when we get to heaven, Job will be the one standing closest to Jesus, praising Him the loudest. Why? Because he had this Messiah thing figured out long before the rest of Abraham’s family got it.
“If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” Job 9:33-35
Right now… imagine Jesus’s hand on you—and His other hand stretched up to the Father.
That’s what Job longed for. That’s what every believer in Jesus Christ HAS. A Mediator. A Savior, who has removed God’s wrath and opened the way for us to speak to God without fear or shame.
This Too Will Pass
Discouragement visits us all at some point in life. But it’s a visitor, not a guest or an owner of God’s kids. Knowing yourself, your enemy, and your Champion will all help you know, in your heart of hearts, that discouragement will not last. It comes…to pass.
What are some ways you lean into your Champion to get rid of this unwelcomed visitor in your life?
Oh, Mesu! Thank you! I so needed to hear these words today.
Thankful the post was helpful. May the Lord continue to bless your ministry, friend, and carry you on His wings!
Discouragement has been dogging my tracks – thank you for reminding me that I have a Champion!
May your Champion be especially near today, Sherry!
Know your enemy
Know your Champion
I’d never heard it put that way before. You’ve given me much to think on. Praise God, I’m not at a place of discouragement right now, but, knowing life, it’s coming. 🙂
Thanks for the reminder to rely on my Champion. Yay, Jesus!!
I’m a sucker for a 3-point sermon, April! 😉 Yay, Jesus, indeed!
Mesu, what beautiful, courage-instilling words! Thank you for this post. Like April said, I’d never really thought about the three Knows you listed in battling discouragement. I also loved what you said in your closing:
“But it’s a visitor, not a guest or an owner of God’s kids.”
Too many times, I’ve allowed discouragement to occupy the guest room in my heart. I don’t have to let a visitor in. Thank you for this. Sooo freeing.
And I love your comment, Jeanne–“freeing.” KNOWING God and His work in the midst of our discouragement is exactly that–freeing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
beth K. Vogt
“It came to pass.”
Hanging on to that declaration today, Mesu.
Thank you for the encouragement.
Sometimes knowing it will pass is a knot tied with thread at the end of my rope–but it’s what I hang onto! Hold on tight, my friend! 😉
Rebecca Barlow Jordan
Great encouragement and insights, Mesu. Your words blessed me today!
So thankful to be a blessing, Rebecca! Have a wonderful day!
Mesu, a high five to you, sister! Your love for God’s word in seen, felt and understood. Thank you for being so passionate about wanting to share The Truth to readers!
There are so many fantastic points of yours I want to highlight, but the list would go on and on. Your three points are spot on, and the way to know those better is through the Word.
My weapon to battle unwelcomes visitors is raw prayer and quoting scripture, silently or aloud. I have life verses that I’ve accumulated and memorized over the years and oh, how powerful the Word is indeed! I have no problem shouting passages from the rooftops or singing them while grocery shopping. Take that enemy!
Job is one of my favorite books. It’s rich with poetic examples and I’ve turn to chapters 38-40 more than I can count when I’ve needed a reminder of how flippin AWESOME my Champion is.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Like Beth, I’m clinging to “It came to pass.”
Thank you for the encouraging post, Mesu.
And it will pass, my sweet friend. Praying for you even as I write these words. 😉
And a fist-bump back atcha, woman! 😉 God’s description of HIMSELF is some of the most engaging reading in Scripture. I love it! How can we not be encouraged to know that the God over all Creation dwells WITHIN us? (Socks officially blown off.) Thanks for reminding me/us of those precious words in Job!
Beautifully written, Mesu. Thank you for such a wonderful reminder.
Thank you, Jennifer. May the Lord bless you right where you are.
I’m so glad I stopped by today.
“Right now… imagine Jesus’s hand on you—and His other hand stretched up to the Father.” I’m picturing this and love it.
Thanks for sharing.
I’m so glad you stopped by today too! And that image of Jesus’s hands stretched out between the Father and me has sustained me more times than I can say. Blessings on you, dear sister!
Hi! So thankful I read your post today.
“I am a child of the most High God. Embrace it. TRUST IT. Know it. For in doing so, I will know myself.”
My word for the year…TRUST…just pops up right when I need it, and today it came from your words!
Gail, I’m thrilled you stopped by and saw that word TRUST. I’m also needing to be reminded of that word today, so you’ve encouraged me in return. Blessings on ya, gal!