In these uncertain times when we are facing a world-wide pandemic and the potential for a world-wide depression, I felt an urge from the Holy Spirit to address several relevant questions through a blog series.
These are difficult questions, and you may be surprised how the Bible answers them. Let’s explore the truth together.
***This blog addresses the third question. Check here for answers to the other questions.
Scripture is taken from the King James Version.
3. I trusted God, but I just lost my job. Why would he do that?
So, you are a Christian who has repented of your sins, done everything you know to do, and your world is still crashing in. Doesn’t God care about you? Where are his promises?
God is obviously concerned with these types of questions because several Scriptures directly address the topic. Let’s begin by looking at what Jesus himself had to say.
Jesus directly rebukes the idea that bad things only happen as punishment for sin. Instead, he says both good and evil things will enter your life regardless of your spiritual condition. This represents God’s equality: he doesn’t distinguish between sinner and saint when deciding what natural disasters, economic recessions, or wars to appear on Earth. However, he uses the trials differently in the life of his people, as Jesus reveals below.
The trying of our faith is anything that makes us doubt God or our confidence in him to supply our needs. By enduring such things, we learn God’s faithfulness, ultimately gaining wisdom. Paul echoes this same thought below.
In Revelation 3:17-19, Jesus give us another insight. He says:
While this passage addresses repenting after salvation, there is an important nugget in the middle: buy gold tried in fire. In the refinement process, raw gold was melted over fire. The impurities would come to surface where they could be skimmed, leaving only refined, pure gold. When we go through trials, Jesus is boiling our imperfections to the surface so he can skim them away. It’s uncomfortable. It’s ugly. But on the other side, we are more purer than before.
Therefore, when troubles come our way, instead of becoming depressed or frustrated at God for sending problems, we should ask God what he is removing from our lives. Ask how he is going to use your difficult situation to bring him glory. I guarantee he will answer you. Why? Because he promised to. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” It is definitely a good thing to understand what God is trying to teach you.
It can be challenging, but don’t associate your circumstances with your spiritual condition. Good and evil things will enter your life no matter what you do. Our goal is to learn to hear God’s voice during the difficult times and, when all is said and done, be able to look back and see how he brought us through. I think the quote from Vivian Greene captures it well: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
The road we walk is not easy, but we must remember what lies at the end: eternity with Jesus. And, remember, while we are in this life, God takes our brokenness from our trials to shape into the likeness of his Son. Hang in there. Remember, Jesus is right there with you, sometimes crying as you cry, every painful step of your journey. And if we endure, not letting the light of our faith die out, he will be waiting to welcome you home with the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
On a personal note...
I can write those words from experience. I was absolutely in love with my job in a private Christian school, but one day I was called in and told I would not be rehired. Why? I still don’t know. I thought I was where God had called me. I taught my heart out, staying sometimes till 8pm! God put the desire in my heart, so where was he? Since God had called me as a teacher, why wasn’t I good enough? As the breadwinner for my family, I was horrified at the prospect of not being able to pay our bills. I had left a solid salary in banking to pursue God’s calling, so where was his promise of provision?
Now, three years later, I have peace about that trial. I recognize God had to humble me. I had to learn that it’s actually not at all about me. It’s about my students. It’s not what I say. It’s what they do. I am a better teacher because God broke my first dream and made me start from scratch. And he pulled us through financially. I was hired by a different school. On the day I received my first paycheck from my new job, our bank accounts (savings and all) had a whopping $26! But we paid every bill.