Cynthia, I have to ask. Have you boiled your noodles too long? I mean, I’ve lost my job, my life is falling apart and you tell me to look up Bible verses! Get real!
Well, precious one, do you want out of the mess you’re in or would you like to stay in it? The stats show that the job situation in our country is dismal and not improving. So, it seems to me, that your choices are to either choose a way out of your predicament or be content to stay in it.
I don’t understand how the Bible is going to help, but no job offers are coming in and my situation is getting worse. So, Cynthia, tell me. I’ve got nothing to lose.
Friend, you have everything to gain.
When my husband lost his job, the first thing I did was pray and ask God for help. If you read my previous article, ”No More Job – Now What?,” you’ll remember the brevity of my prayer. The second thing I did was to quickly assess my family’s situation. Two kids in college, a mortgage payment, monthly bills and zero income. That appraisal sent me hurrying to find my Bible, a tablet and a pen.
Even though I had a strong faith, I felt frightened. My husband and I had never before experienced unemployment. Our parents had talked about their experiences in the Great Depression, but that had been years before we were born. Therefore, my husband and I had no point of reference for how to handle our adversity. Or so we thought.
As I held my Bible, I asked God to lead me to the verses that would bring hope to my husband, our children and me. Within an hour, I located 32 Scriptures about hope which I recorded on a piece of paper.
I called a family meeting and shared those verses with my husband and children. I kept that paper close by at all times. When I left the house, it was in my handbag. The moment fear or panic tried to get a foothold, I pulled out the paper and read the Scriptures.
The more I read these verses, the easier it was to drive the fear and anxiety away. A side benefit was that I began to memorize the verses. The day I couldn’t find my worn paper, I was grateful that God’s words had become engraved in my mind.
When two weeks passed and my husband had not found a job, I called our friend and former minister the Reverend Doctor Donald Dawson, a true man of God, and asked for advice.
One of the things Don told me was to read the Bible stories, true accounts in which God led His people through dire situations. Don also recommended that my family and I sit together and recall all of the times that God had been with us during difficulties.
That evening, each family member remembered specific instances when they had faced adverse situations and called upon the Lord for help and deliverance. In doing this, we were able to understand that God had not abandoned us in our current situation and that, if we were faithful to God, He would see us through this crisis.
As the months passed and passed, there were times when my faith wavered and I was afraid that we were doomed. We had no job, no job possibilities, no income and we had sold our house and had to move in with a relative who lived hours away. This is when the power of the Bible stories lifted me up and carried me through many dark days.
I developed favorites. I loved the story about Daniel in the lion’s den. Although it appeared that Daniel’s firm faith was his undoing, it was exactly what delivered him from certain death.
David and Goliath taught me that we should never fight our battles on our own. If we ask Him, the Great Creator will fight and win our battles for us.
The story of Joseph got me through many days and nights when all seemed lost. Joseph’s love of God, his obedience to God and his patience saw Joseph through betrayals, slavery, false accusations and imprisonment to become second in command of all of Egypt. Only Pharoah had more power than Joseph.
What was the main thing that Daniel, David and Joseph shared? They loved God with all their heart and they were faithful to Him at all times. When troubles came, they looked first to the Great Deliverer for help. They did not rely on their own strengths and abilities.
Let me say this again because this is crucial when we find ourselves in overwhelming crises: They did not rely on their own strengths and abilities.
After 17 long months of unemployment came the week when two people separately gave me the kind of news that can make you want to throw in the towel:
My husband was too old to get a job, they said.
He was way over-qualified to get a job, they said.
My husband would never make the same salary he had previously made, they said.
My husband would be lucky to make $20,000 a year, they said.
My husband needed to accept that he could no longer support his family, they said.
It’s a shame, to be certain, but no one is going to hire your husband, they said.
And I said, “You do not know how powerful my God is.”
Then I turned and walked away.
That’s when my faithful friend Sandy Fox told me the Story of the 12 Spies. And I clung to it. On a scouting party, a group of 12 Israelite spies saw the same things, but only 2 of them believed that God could successfully see them through the difficulty. God allowed those 2 men to live in the Promised Land. The other 10? Not worthy.
In addition to my carefully compiled Scriptures of hope and the other Old Testament stories that I read and re-read, the Story of the 12 Spies became my lifeline. I BELIEVED with everything in me that God would successfully get my husband, our children and me through our unemployment. There is no doubt in my mind that I would never have survived nearly two years of unemployment without the Bible.
And so, my friend, there is no need to fear. Our Heavenly Father knows what you are up against. Lean deeply into Him. Breathe in the Scriptures. Let them swirl through your mind and use them as weapons when thoughts of doom and despair come at you. And they will come at you. But God and His Word will see you through. If you turn to them.
“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.” Lamentations 3:28-30. (MSG)
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4b. (NKJV).
Please remember to pray daily for our country, for our elected officials and our citizens. Please pray that our country returns to God soon.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Cynthia Howerter © 2011Read More
So. You didn’t see it coming. Or maybe you did. In either case, it’s a shock. Questions swirl through your mind. What will we do for money? How will we live? What if we can’t make the mortgage payment? How will we buy food? How will we pay our bills? Questions that you can’t answer. At least for now.
I didn’t see my husband’s unemployment coming. Neither did he. But, suddenly, the job was over. Done. Not to be resurrected. And there was no time to prepare.
I remember praying right away. Not a flowery, lengthy prayer. No, I got right to the point: “Help, God. Help!” I didn’t need an abundance of words. God knew what I was praying about. He knows what you’re praying about.
When any adversity strikes us, it is not a random circumstance. As believers, we know that nothing is random, but, rather, that there is a purpose to everything under the sun. So, rest assure that God knew before you did that you or your spouse were going to lose the ability to earn a living.
Why, you want to know, would God allow you to lose your income? There could be any number of reasons why God allowed you to lose your job. Only you and God really know why. Let’s explore several possibilities.
Let me ask you this: Did God have a place in your life before you lost your job? Were you setting aside time every day to pray and read the Scriptures? Or were you just going about your life inserting God into it whenever you thought about it – which probably wasn’t on a regular basis. Am I right? I know. Ouch.
Did God have your attention before you lost your job? You see, God desires our attention. He wants a relationship with us. He created us, so it makes sense that he wants us to know Him intimately and to be in communication regularly with Him. There are times when God will do whatever it takes to bring us back to Him.
My husband and I learned that as soon as adversity happens, we need to ask God to reveal exactly what He wants us to learn. Because you see, God wants to teach you something through this difficult situation. The sooner you ask Him what it is He wants you to learn, the sooner you can hear what He says to you.
Read the Scriptures and talk to God. Every day. Are you waking up during the night filled with fear and anxiety? Stop and talk to God about it. Are you scared and worried? Tell Him. No matter what is going on in your life, focus on God. Every day. Every night.
“Now, Cynthia, didn’t you just tell me that God allowed me to lose my job?” I did. “Then why should I focus on God?” Good question, friend. Would you jump out of an airplane without a parachute? Didn’t think so. Look at your job as the airplane. You were just thrown out of the plane at an altitude of 27,000 feet. Exactly what will get you out of this free-fall without a messy landing? Bingo. God is your parachute. God is able to give you another job.
When we do not put God first in our lives, we are separated from Him. The Bible tells us that separation from God is disobedience and, therefore, sinful. You know if you’ve let distance come between yourself and God. The “cure” for this sin is to first confess it to God and then ask for His forgiveness for it.
Let’s put this in a different perspective. What do you expect your children to do when they’ve been disobedient to you? Ooh. And, you haven’t been disobedient to just anybody. You’ve been disobedient to the Creator of the Universe. Ever wonder what those knees were made for? Now you know.
Once you decide to make God the main focus of your life, once you humbly ask for forgiveness for your separation from Him, and after you ask God to reveal exactly what it is that He wants you to learn through this terrible situation, then wait patiently for God to begin speaking to you. This usually takes awhile. So be patient. But know this: God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.
“But if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.” 1 John 1:9.
God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey Him. Job 42:7-17.
If you have a story pertaining to unemployment that you would like shared, please contact me.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Cynthia Howerter © 2011