The partial government shut-down lasted 35 days, the longest in our country’s history. There were stories every day in the news concerning unemployment and missed paychecks. Maybe you were affected by this shut-down, or maybe you experience unemployment for other reasons. What does the Bible say about unemployment?
First, believers and followers of God can draw near to the throne of grace with confidence. God gives us mercy and grace to help us in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). He does not shut-down. His love is new and fresh each day, and He renews our strength as we come to Him in hard times.
Second, God can work through this hard season to bless you. All things work together for good for those who know and love God (Romans 8:28). I am reminded of Joseph, how his brothers treated him horribly and he ended up in slavery and prison, but in the end, they meant evil against him, but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20). God can use this crisis for His purposes and glory, and your benefit.
In fact, God is in complete control of your unemployment (or employment) today. The preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes.” The Bible says in Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will,” and in 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” Jesus said in Matthew 10:29, “Not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” God is in complete control over your unemployment.
Fourth, Jesus said to His followers in His sermon on the mount, from Matthew 6, not to be anxious about our lives, that He would provide in times of need. This is why we pray for daily bread from our Provider. We are to seek first His kingdom during good and difficult times. Matthew 6:33 is our focus in a time of unemployment. He knows what we need at all times and we don’t need to worry.
I was unemployed for a long season once, about a year and a half. I had a wife and kids to support. It was a stressful time. The verses that spoke to me the most were from Habakkuk 3:17-18, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” This was my prayer through many days and nights. It helped me stay focused and moving forward.
If you are in a time of unemployment today, for any reason, hang in there! Look to the Lord at this time. How is He working and moving and meeting your needs? How can He provide for you in this time, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well? God is good all the time.