Finding Peace in Unemployment

Finding Peace in Unemployment

The world is going through some tough, economic times. In North America, we feel the pinches of poverty more keenly as we have grown accustomed to affluent lifestyles. We know about “the poor” but we don’t know about “being poor”.

In America, as of November 4th,2011 there are an estimated 13.9 million people out of work. I say estimated as no one really knows how many have simply stopped looking and have been driven further into despair.

(Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm)

In Canada, the numbers are almost as bad. With unemployment hitting 7.2% nationwide, as of November 4th, 1,374,200 Canadians are out of work. I am one of those Canadians.

(Source: http://www.hrmguide.net/canada/jobmarket/canadian-unemployment.htm)

I am in a unique situation in that my wife has a good paying job, but as the bills mount, the pressure does turn inward. I turn to God to lift my spirits up when more money is going out, than coming in. I don’t know how unbelievers in Jesus cope with the staggering pressure of existing in this society.

Being a Christian that is unemployed does not mean a life free from worry. It does not mean that God is going to pay all of my bills. It does not mean that I am any different than the non-believer that applies for the same jobs I apply for.

Sometimes, I feel that as a believer, there is even more pressure when you are unemployed and a Christian. Dealing with family and the endless “So how’s the job search coming” is pretty tiring even if they mean well. But to read Scripture like 1Timothy 5:8 “8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (NIV) is particularly a hard verse to read.

“Am I doing something wrong Lord?” Let’s be honest, that is going to be your first question after reading that verse, because we don’t feel that we are providing for no one. For us, our hearts say if we aren’t doing works for God and seeing compensation for those works, we must be in sin.

Well, we are in sin. Every moment of every day we fight our sinful nature. Paul writes in Romans 7:19 “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.” (NIV)

As men, Biblically, we are told from the Book of Genesis, that our role is to work, to toil and to provide. But, here I am, unemployed. The question that needs to be asked then, is how does God view our unemployment?

Are you in gross repetitive sin? This is one of the biggest questions that needs to be asked and answered, honestly.

The Lord will not bless an unrighteous man. Read all of Proverbs and the Book of Psalms if you do not believe me. The Lord hates sin. If you are a Christian and you are in gross, unrepentant, and repetitive sin, repent! Ask for forgiveness from the Lord, from those you may have wronged.

The next biggest question to ask is; “Am I providing?” Really look at this one deeply. Are you unemployed, stay at home and are doing nothing? Then you are not providing.

Are you at home, looking for work, there for the kids when they come home, helping your spouse with the household? Then, you are providing. It took me a while to learn this. I equate providing with making money.

It just might be that God has you where He needs you. Maybe it is to provide spiritual guidance and a safe home for your children. Maybe it is to learn something about Him, or yourself.

That is hard. But as I begin to worship, and to praise the Lord, I begin to see other facets in my life that were neglected. I do need to press in and look for work, but there other things I need to do.

Volunteering. Have you considered giving a little of yourself to help someone that might be worse off than you are? Volunteering is a sacrifice, it’s Biblical and it serves another purpose as well. As you volunteer, you will meet other members of your community. Perhaps the guy that is standing beside you in the soup kitchen passing out soup is the owner of a great business that you would like to apply at.

Volunteering gets you involved and plugged in. It gets you away from the depression and anxiety that millions find themselves in as they sit in front of the television during soaps and Oprah. The TV isn’t going to be your salvation. Jesus is.

Study the Word. I use this time to find His joy, His peace and it does surpass all understanding. Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is true.

Being a Christian is not about how much money you make or don’t make. It isn’t about if you have a job or not. We have a job. Yes, we do. Our job is to spread the Gospel. If nothing else in life, your job is to share the Good News of what Jesus did for us on Calvary.

Under work experience on your resume, it should have “Missions Worker” From date to Present”

You might not make a million dollars this life. But God provides what YOU NEED and we need to trust that.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV)

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

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Peace.