Lesson: Dealing With Unemployment
The Bible shows that God Himself works, and He created mankind to work. Since God intends for us to be working, what does He want us to do when we lose our job? What does the Bible say about coping with the growing problem of unemployment?
A Christian from Georgia relates his 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
"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."
Share Your Story
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
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.
When 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
Why should you turn to God for help?
1 Peter 5:7
…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
God 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.
What attitude should you have while you're unemployed?
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.
Although 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
How did the patriarch Job react after he lost everything?
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."
Job 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)!
What does God expect you to be doing while you're unemployed?
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
While 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.
What must you be doing to receive God's blessings?
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.
We 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.
How will God help you find work?
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.
Much 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.
How will God help you pay your bills while you're unemployed?
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.
While 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).
What was King David's observation of those who live God's way
and trust in Him?
Psalm 37:3-7, 25
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
I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his descendants begging bread.
From 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).
God 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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