Hello friends! Welcome to this Bible study guide on "Dealing With Unemployment." With today's recession affecting the entire world, many people suddenly find themselves unemployed. What does God want us to do when we lose our job? Does the Bible even address this subject? Join me now as we see what the Bible says about this challenging situation.
A Christian from Georgia relates his story:Share Your Story
"Life was good working for a major automobile manufacturer. I found myself suddenly unemployed when I was fired because I kept God's Sabbath.
"I had one small child, and my wife was pregnant with our second. Money was now scarce, but the bills were plentiful. I prayed to God for help.
"The only job I could find was construction work. Pay was sporadic, and I was away from home a lot. More than once there was no food in the house for my expecting wife and young daughter. But God kept watch on us, as many times neighbors would bring food, or invite them over for breakfast or dinner.
"The construction work dried up, so I took a job with a recycling facility making barely above minimum wage. As grateful for the job as I was, the pay would not cover all my bills. I couldn't afford my car anymore. But once again, God came through. My supervisor discovered that I qualified for an apprentice program, which increased my pay by exactly one dollar more than my car payment!
"It was almost two years before I got my job back with the automobile manufacturer. But when I got my job back, I also received all of my back pay! Yes, during this trial God always took care of me and my family."
What Does the Bible Say About Being Unemployed?You may have experienced or know someone else who has gone through such difficult times. When some people lose a job, they find another job quickly. But for many, the dry spell between good jobs is long. Even when we pray for God's help, months and sometimes years can go by between jobs. Why does God allow that if He wants us to work?
As you study the Bible, you find that part of God's work is making better people out of us! God knows that trials can build good character in us. When we're unemployed, God can use that time to help us grow. So let's look at some relevant scriptures to show what we should be doing when we find ourselves unemployed.
Where is the first place you should go for help when you become unemployed?
Psalm 18:6When we find ourselves facing trials, the firstplace we should go for help is God. King David, a man after God's own heart, learned to look to God and depend on Him more than men. And the book of Hebrews encourages us to come boldly to God, even though we can feel beaten down by trials like unemployment.
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Why should you turn to God for help?
1 Peter 5:7God is concerned about all of us. He wants each of us to have an abundant life and enjoy our work. Since God cares for us, we should turn to Him to help us in our time of need.
…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
What attitude should you have while you're unemployed?
James 1:2-4Although it is totally against our human nature, we should be thankful for the opportunity to build character during this trial. If you approach this time with a positive attitude, you will grow and become a better person.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
How did the patriarch Job react after he lost everything?
Job 1:21Job understood that God is in charge. He knew that all we have ultimately comes from God. Through his trial God made Job a better person, and afterwards blessed Job with twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10, 12)!
And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
What does God expect you to be doing while you're unemployed?
Proverbs 13:4While we're out of work, God expects us to make a full-time job of finding a job. Study and seek advice about current job trends, ways to upgrade your skills and the best job search techniques. We need to be looking on the Internet and at classified ads, personally visiting company managers and networking with our friends and associates. Diligence gives you a huge advantage over those who are waiting for someone to come to them with a job.
The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.
Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
What must you be doing to receive God's blessings?
Isaiah 59:1-2We must turn from sin and keep God's commandments to be blessed by Him. We can't expect God to bless us if we don't do what He says to do.
Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
1 John 3:22
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
How will God help you find work?
Proverbs 3:5-6Much has been said and written about the power of networking to find jobs. God is the ultimate networker. He is more than capable of providing opportunities and opening doors for us. We must do our part and search diligently for work, yet we can trust in God to show us the way. Ask Him to provide the right opportunity.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
How will God help you pay your bills while you're unemployed?
Psalm 23:1-6While we work diligently to find a job and wait patiently on God to provide us permanent work, He is faithful to provide our daily needs. Whether there is famine of food or famine of work, God will provide. Even when it seems impossible to get by, God promises to miraculously intervene for those who obey Him. There was a widow who only had enough flour and oil for one more meal, yet God miraculously made that food last for many days—maybe a year or more (1 Kings 17:12-16).
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
What was King David's observation of those who live God's way and trust in Him?
Psalm 37:3-7, 25From a young child, King David knew God. And as an old man, he looked back and saw that those who did their best to obey God were always taken care of. Just like us, David went through hard times, but God never forsook him and was always there to take care of him. King David learned to trust in God. And if we trust and obey God, He promises to provide food and all our daily needs—in good times and bad (Matthew 6:25-33).
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass...
I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.
Apply NowGod wants to help you when you're unemployed. Go to Him first in prayer right now. Then make a plan to pray every day for His help in your job search. Diligently look for work and at the same time trust in Him to help provide you a job. You'll see the blessings that will follow!
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Jump-Start Your Job Search
Financial Security and Peace of Mind from the booklet Making Life Work
Managing Your Finances
Planning Your Career: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Facing Hard Times With Brutal Optimism
Joy Is the Best Choice
Video: Keeping Your Job in a Bad Economy
Planning for Life: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4