I was asked to give a devotional message to the members of First Presbyterian Church Jobs group on May 31, 2012. I read a great story about “Why me God, Why Now?” in Squire Rushnell’s Book , “When God Winks at you”, I then read the blog post “Why Christians Suffer” on bible.org. Then I wrote this devotional message
Why me God? Why now God? What is God doing? Why did I lose my job?
Job loss is a form of suffering and Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives.
It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes.
Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources.
The following 5 questions are designed to help us in the days of Job Loss and suffering:
(1) How am I responding to my job loss?
Am I wasting time blaming and complaining about my job loss? Am I letting the situation I am in now cause strife between me and the people I love
Am I letting my job loss push me down or am I challenging myself to trust in God to get above and beyond the problems I am dealing with, so that I can be a better person for God?
(2) How should I respond to my job loss?
Use the time you now have available to help others, to do good where you have not had time to do good before.
Use some of the time available to do the will of God in our communities, church and family. Volunteering and just going out of our way to do good where good can be done.
Use some of the time to evaluate what you are doing overall with your life.
Are you fulfilling the will of God thru your job, or is there another job you could have that will better fulfill the will of God?
Evaluate what career step should you make that lets you better serve God and his people.
Maybe this transition is intended to put you on a path to something more important than you can imagine right now, something that you never would have done if you stayed in that job.
Respond by being open to something new, something different, something that lets you do the will of God while you support your family.
(3) Am I learning from my job loss?
Learning the hard way
There’s a story about an old man who was retiring as the president of the local bank and the board gave the job to a much younger vice-president of the bank. The young man went to the older man’s office before his last day and asked very sincerely, What is the key to success in leading a bank? The old man thought and finally replied, Good decisions. OK, said the young man, How do you make good decisions? The older man thoughtfully but simply replied, Experience. The young man was still not satisfied, so he probed once more. And how do you get experience? The old man answered frankly, Bad decisions.
Often we spend all of our time focusing on finding that next job and we don’t spend any time learning from our life experiences. God wants us to live & learn from our experiences.
Learn from others, by sharing our stories and listening to other people’s stories of job loss and job searching and how God has helped them on their journey to a new job.
Lean by our mistakes – it’s ok to fail at your first resume, cover letter, interview, networking, etc, as long as you look at what you did wrong and strive to not do it again. God gives favor to those who learn by their mistakes.
Learn from how we deal with the stress and how it affects our relationships.
God expects us to learn by our decisions, good and bad.
(4) Does my response to my job loss demonstrate faith, love for God and for others, Christ-like character, values, commitment, priorities, etc.?
Every action, every word, every thought we have and response we make to our job loss has to be guided by our love, faith and trust in God.
We must trust that God will guide us in the right direction, what ever that is. And we will get there as long as we let our love for God guide us in our actions and words while we seek that next job.
(5) How can God use it in my life?
Can God use my experiences of job loss and search to help others.
Can my actions be an example for others. Should my actions be examples for others.
Our lives should be examples for others – don’t forget this while you are dealing with this time in your life. If our actions and words are bad examples for others, then likely we are not truly trusting in God to help us while on this journey of searching for a new job.
When you ask yourself, “Why me Lord?, Why now?”
Remember – God has reasons for your life. Reasons for you losing your job, now.
Maybe it’s to change your life.
Maybe it’s to help someone else.
You can’t possibly understand today. Maybe you can tomorrow.
Until then, believe and Trust in God.