Wrestling with Unemployment
Who do you know who is out of work? Someone in your family? A friend? Perhaps even you have wrestled with unemployment recently.
I wrestled with unemployment while supporting my widowed mother and five younger sisters in Argentina. In those days massive strikes shook my home country. I was without work, without relief, without anything!
Whenever unemployment strikes, it creates marital, financial, and even medical problems. It also prematurely exposes a person to the perils usually associated with middle age: weariness, carelessness, and confusion. These very terms describe many of the unemployed today.
What should a committed Christian do if he finds himself out of work? I believe the Bible gives us several specific principles that relate to the issue of unemployment.
First, accept your unemployment, even though it may be difficult, and trust God to use it for good. The Bible tells us that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
Second, carefully plan how to use your extra time in the best way possible. In Ephesians 5:15-16 we read, "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity."
If you are unemployed, I suggest that you spend the first two hours of every day in Bible study and prayer. Spend the next three or four hours looking seriously and systematically for a job.
Third, minister to other people during your spare time. Organize a Bible study with others who are unemployed, and pray together. Spend time discipling new believers.
As an individual or a group, use your afternoons to work for your church, help those in need, visit the elderly, or actively evangelize in your community. God's Word says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9). I believe God will compensate those who volunteer to help others, if they do it for His glory.
Fourth, be a good steward of your time, energy, and possessions. Work together as a family to see how you can creatively use what you already possess to meet some of your needs, and even help others.
Perhaps you have some land. Plant a garden! Perhaps you have certain talents that could be used to earn some money. Use them!
In Matthew 6:33 we read, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." As we honor God in every part of our lives, we can be sure He will supply everything we need.
If unemployment strikes your home, I challenge you to seek God's Kingdom and righteousness. Act on the principles outlined above and trust God to provide your every need.
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