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Holding Onto Faith During Unemployment

Ten months ago, my husband’s company was bought out, and his position was eliminated. He is a hard-working, dependable employee, and this surprising decision felt very unfair. After one month of severance pay ran out, he attempted to start a career in insurance. We had high hopes, but it proved to be unsuccessful; we even lost money as clients reneged on their policies.

In the meantime, he did some side jobs to try to make ends meet, but they didn’t always meet. We received some financial help from our church and friends when the engine in his car had to be completely overhauled. And even though I work several part time jobs, they don’t pay enough to completely take care of our family. It felt like every time we got up, we got knocked back down. Our faith and hope have been challenged over and over again during this season.

Refuse to see yourself as a Victim

But during this time of financial unrest, we had a choice: get angry about the “unfair treatment” my husband received from his employer and give up; or trust God to be who we have always believed He is—Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. Now believe me, there were times when we felt frustrated and hopeless, but that’s when we chose to speak the Word of God and remind Him (and ourselves) of who He is and what He’s promised us.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This doesn’t mean that everything we go through is good, but it means that good things can come out of our trials.

Our situation forced us to trust God at a deeper level than we ever had before, and that is good. Our faith in God has grown stronger as we have seen Him provide for us and our four children in many different ways. He has never let us down.

Whether you did something wrong and deserved to be fired, have lost your job due to downsizing, or unfairly lost your job because of things other people did or said about you, God sees your struggle and will cause things to work out for your good in your favor.

If you did something wrong, repent and “call upon [God] in the day of trouble; [He] will deliver you, and you shall glorify [Him]” (Psalm 50:15). If you were unjustly wronged, forgive the transgressors and trust that God will make it right because He “executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed” (Psalm 103:6).

Hold on to Hope

It’s hard to have faith that things will improve if you don’t have hope. And when life isn’t going the way you’d hoped it would, hope can seem distant. Having hope in a desperate situation takes courage. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Ps 31:24).

Notice that our hope is to be in GOD, not our circumstances. During our changing, unstable situations, God is stable and unchanging. King David even talked to himself and told himself not to be discouraged: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 43:5).

It’s easy to hope or trust in the things around us—money, jobs, success, power or influence. But Psalm 20:7 declares, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” We must be careful to hope only in God. Trusting in other things will only lead to disappointment, but He is ever faithful.

Ask God for Help and Trust Him to Answer

Philippians 4:4, 6-7 encourages us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! … Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Rejoice always? Even in unemployment? Yes. We don’t rejoice that we’re unemployed, but we rejoice in the Lord! We rejoice that we can bring our needs to God, being thankful for His goodness and faithfulness, and trusting that as we do this, His supernatural peace and provision will carry us. Remember that He wants us to cast “all [our] care upon Him, for He cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7).

Jesus reminded His disciples that God takes care of the birds (even though birds don’t sow or reap), so how much more will God take care of his children? He then said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33).

God is a good Father who takes care of His children. Instead of pursuing what we need, God wants us to pursue Him, concentrate on His kingdom, and make Him our priority—then we can expect that He will provide all we need.

God is in Control

If you are submitting resumes and applications and interviewing over and over again with no open doors, it can get quite discouraging. Isaiah 55:9 reminds us, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” We must trust that even when we cannot see it or understand it, God is in control, and He’s working things out on our behalf and for the good of His Kingdom. This is the essence of walking by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

It’s for our good that He doesn’t open certain doors. So trust that He knows what is best; when an opportunity or position doesn’t open up for you, trust that He has something even better. Who knows? God may even be sparing you from a more difficult situation by closing a door that seems good. Proverbs 16:9 teaches, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Trust that God is directing your every step as you seek Him.

Do What You Can Do

Don’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself or expecting opportunities to drop in your lap. Let people know that you’re looking for a job. Talk with your pastor and people at church to see if they know of any opportunities. While you are not working, volunteer to help out at your church or a local school or charity.

In the meantime, if you have a skill or ability that can earn some income, let people know what you can do. Doing yard work, handyman jobs, tutoring or babysitting children, or offering lessons can not only bring in some income but can also keep you on purpose. Accept a part-time job as you are looking for a more ideal full-time job. Keep your options open.

My husband continues to interview and submit applications and resumes as we enter the eleventh month of unemployment. And we courageously choose to do what Psalm 27:14 says: “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!”

~ by Jennell Houts

Author’s Note: I submitted this article to the editor in the morning, and that same afternoon my husband got 3 job offers! He’s employed! And God is faithful! Keep trusting Him — He won’t let you down!

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