Attitude is very important during any time of adversity because a good attitude will help put you above your situation while a bad attitude causes you to live beneath your situation. If you maintain a bad attitude and go for an interview, that attitude may very well spill over into that interview and may hinder you from being hired by that company. Employers will not knowingly hire anyone with a bad attitude because that becomes a cancer among the other employees and it brings morale down. A bad attitude is also sinful because we do not determine where we, as blood bought Christians, will do the work of ministry God has planned for us. We covered this in the first chapter. A bad attitude normally develops when we view a situation in an improper manner. At the time a person is handed their pink slip, there may be a negative response and this is normal but it should not become the prototype of living with a bad attitude during the time of unemployment. It is very important that a newly released person goes into prayer immediately to abate any anger before it turns into bitterness. Thank the Lord that He cares enough about you to become personally involved with your life. Then take a few days off, if you can afford it, go somewhere and when you return start laying out a method of job hunting. At this point you will be refreshed and will now job hunt with a clearer perspective.


It is never wise to begin a job hunt the same or next day from your release because you may tend to put your former employer down since you are still in a state of shock or anger. Deal with the immediate emotions first such as anxiety, anger, shock and once you begin to reorganize, you will be ready to face the job market with a clean attitude. A tip to those who are still employed is keep your resume updated because it is like a standing army, it should be ready to move when it is called upon. The Christian should be like the Israelites in the wilderness, always ready to move on God's command. If you work in a company and are released without an updated resume, you will bang your head against the wall trying to figure out all the things you did there. You will have much difficulty trying to recall and this will add to your already existing tensions. Be ready, it is the biblical norm.


(1 Pet 4:12-13) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: {13} But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.


The truth may be that you were singled out but the key is not to dwell on it and allow it to seethe. Peter tells us that we should be prepared for the world's injustices because to this end were we born. In the last chapter we discussed the negative and positive aspects as to why you may have been let go, read them again. Do not try to build a "they're all against me" philosophy. This is very obvious to others and you will be avoided like the plague. I was on an interview once and told the interviewer I believe I was singled out, and she asked me, "why you?" I could not answer that question because I was unprepared for it. The "singled out" theory is difficult to prove and will not help you on an interview. You will never gain sympathy to your situation from an interviewer, they are only concerned about hiring the right person. If you were singled out by reason of someone's prejudice then the Lord will deal with them, Don't you! (Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.) Espousing the "singled out" theory also has a tendency to lead to the "feel sorry for me" mindset. I will cover more of this later on the chapter. People who believe the whole world is out to get them often possess a fatalistic view on life. They suspect everyone and everything. This attitude creates a very suspicious nature and will be caught by those who interview who are trained to analyze word and voice inflections. We tend to accept what happens to others, but we have a hard time accepting things when they happen to us.
(Luke 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


99 out of 100 times a person that does the dirty work of notifying you that you are being released is not the one who initiates the procedure. Many times it comes from upper management which is very good at hiding in their ivory towers when bad things occur. Do not hold animosity toward the one who actually did the lay off because we see Jesus in this verse forgiving those who actually drove the nails, but those who plotted against Him will stand in judgment for their sins. The ones who drove the nails will not be guilty of this particular sin, however, they are not exonerated from their other sins unless they become saved.


The one who let you go is probably the front person for the one who is too chicken to do it themselves. I was laid off (fired) and the President of the company hid in the vice-president's office until I left the building. I thought I was on good terms with him. To show how the Lord takes care of His own, He lost his job shortly after I was terminated and the facility closed in about a year after that. Keep in mind God knows what the true circumstances are and He does deal with the guilty and scheming parties behind the scenes.
(Jer 29:11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.


This is probably one of the most inane statements we could ever believe. If God wanted to get us, does He really need to get us unemployed to do it? Jeremiah 29:11 is one of hundreds in the Bible which states God is for us. (Rom 8:31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? The only reason we adopt this attitude is because we have a wrong picture of God and tend to misunderstand His motives and methods. In Genesis 37-50, we read the rough time Joseph had but since he trusted God during his ordeal, he reaped the benefits of waiting on God. We may not know what God is doing in our lives but from all we read in Scripture, He is always working on our behalf. So God is never out to get you, He already has you, through the blood of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Pet 4:1) Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;


This is the pity party attitude. A person with a pity party mentality usually enjoys when a bad situation arises in their life so they will have a legitimate reason to throw a "woe is me" celebration. This verse warns us of the fact we will face many adversities in life and it may include giving our life for the gospel. The Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 16:13 that we should be strong and mature in the faith. (1 Cor 16:13) Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. There are times of true heartbreak in a person's life but one should not choose to live in the pond of pity but must, by the strength of God given to every believer, face any situation which comes into their life in the manner befitting a Christian. Where did we ever get the idea that adversity only happens to the other guy and not me? No Christian is ever immune from adversity. There are Christians who die in airplane crashes or have sick bodies who suffer 24 hours per day. Christian suffer as much in this world as does the unbeliever but we have the Lord and He makes our burdens into something useful and bearable.
(Col 3:17) And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


When we are laid off, one of the first things we do is dwell on the negative. We instantly bring up all the mistakes we made. Tell me, which employee did you work with was the perfect human being who made no mistakes? You cannot name one can you? The reason you cannot name one is that none exist. Now if you made a great mistake which cost the company much money and agony, then maybe you were rightly dismissed. If this is the case, then you must do a detailed analysis of the mistake you made and determine to be cautious next time. During your analysis keep an open mind and do not exclude any facts which may hinder a proper conclusion. You will find out where you went wrong and once you have discovered the error, allow it to die, don't dwell on it. Do not go to an interview and tell them you made a great mistake, tell them you made a great analysis and you know where you went wrong.


If you have done your work heartily unto the Lord and still made mistakes, that is all right, and it does not necessarily mean this is why you were let go. Dwell on the positive things you did for the company and especially the little things that no one noticed or wanted to do. You were not a liability for the company but an asset. Do not allow yourself to consistently think something is wrong. If a person makes a mistake, it does not mean they are disqualified in their profession. When I was a Production Scheduler, there were times I did not schedule something on time. I heard about it, but that was the exception not the rule. I would not dwell on the error but would work to prevent it from happening again. So just because you were let go does not mean you are unqualified in your chosen area of work. Sometimes an insecure boss will release you because you are a threat to his/her incompetence or position and they will seek an excuse to release you. Many bosses fear someone who shows potential, so do not discount this treachery either. If you have done your work to the glory of God, there is no reason to feel any guilt.
(1 Pet 1:14-16) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: {15} But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; {16} Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


Here is where the rubber meets the road. It is a very serious thing for a Christian to compromise their testimony for a job. As Christians it is our responsibility to maintain a proper testimony and any departure from that is sin. If we compromise, we are saying our relationship to Christ is less important than our job. I can guarantee that if a Christian sins to keep a job, God's hand of blessing will be removed from that believer until they repent of that attitude. There is nothing more important to a Christian than a good testimony. Compromise is the world's way to achieve success and worldly success has a different meaning than Christian success. I have heard others say and I have said it myself, "I will just play the game."


That simply means I will do or say anything my employer wants regardless of the fact I know better. We must never check our Christianity at the door at 8 AM and then pick it up at 5 PM. We are Christians before we are employees and being a Christian should make us a better employee without sinful compromise. There are compromises which are made on every job which are not sinful and the Holy Spirit will give discernment. Never consider sinful compromise to save a job.
Just as there are wrong attitudes one may have toward their unemployment, there are also proper attitudes which must be maintained so our situation may be placed in proper perspective. By viewing our unemployment from a positive point of view, there will be less anxiety and worry since we will have no problem handing our adversity over to the Lord. As Christians, if we have a good attitude toward our adversity, we will learn all the Lord is teaching us. Adversity is a teaching tool as well as a tool of chastisement. God knows just how and what to apply to our lives. He designs each test for every individual for our benefit. (Psa 11:5) The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.


(Heb 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


During the time you are out you will discover who your faith is in, God or you. If your faith is in your abilities then you should be thanking God He allowed you to see an error which could be responsible for a greater catastrophe in your life. If God is testing your faith in Him, then all you need to do to pass the test is respond properly. By placing unwavering faith in God, you will experience the comfort and peace during a time which is normally hectic and laden with anxiety. If you are experiencing any form of anxiety, then you have discovered a flaw in your faith which needs to be repaired. God may allow us to remain unemployed till the breach in our faith is filled in. In the type of society we live in, faith seems like something ancient, yet it is the essence for living above the bad circumstances. Do a faith check and see where you stand. Faith may be old fashioned but God gives us the following admonition:  (Jer 6:16 ) Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.


(James 1:12) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.


There are three words in this passage which give insight into the endurance of the believer. The first word is "endureth" which is the Greek word "hupomenei." It is a verb in the present active indicative which carries the alternate meanings of "wait, be patient, suffer, abide." God through James is telling us that waiting is an action. We think of an action as only doing something physically but rarely, if ever, think of waiting as an action in the Christian life. The fact that this verb is in the present tense tells us that waiting is an ever present action in the believer's life. We are always waiting on God. God may want to teach us the essence of waiting and that is, it is not a waste of time as many think it is. Remember who gave us the time to begin with. If God wants us to spend time waiting, it is His prerogative, since He is God.


The second word is "temptation" which is the Greek word "peirasmon." It is a noun which is also translated "testing or experience." We see that we may qualify our unemployment as an experience or a testing of our Christian walk before the Lord. When I endure with the action of waiting, I am telling the Lord that I trust Him with the situation I am in and am willing to wait on Him for His answer. When we look closer at this word we see that it is not a word describing a snare of the devil, instead it is a test of my walk with God.


The last word is "tried" which is also translated "proved." Those whom God has chosen for salvation are those whom God tries. The result of our trial will be approval if we have conducted ourselves in a manner worthy of our Christian calling. God will test us to see if we have the maturity for whatever He is preparing us for. If we fail the test, He may simply withhold blessing, or He may give it to another who has passed the test. Endurance is a great measuring stick used by God to reveal to us where we stand on the ladder of maturity. Testing will never be a decision maker for salvation but it will be for service.
(Heb 3:5) And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;


This verse reveals that Moses was a faithful man in duties to his household. He was the head of the house yet the servant of the house. He was faithful no matter what conditions prevailed. God may be testing us in the same manner to see if we will be faithful to Him during our unemployment. We will also see how faithful we are and if we are really leaving the situation in His hands. Will we continue to look to the Lord each day or will we take our situation into our own hands without the benefit of God's guidance. Obedience during a time of adversity is an acid test of the highest. Will I truly trust God or will I buy lottery tickets, play the numbers, work under the table, take a job which is detrimental to my testimony, etc? God designs every adversity to attack an area of weakness in our lives, so the result will be obedience and faith. I must be as faithful to God when I am in adversity as I am when the paycheck is coming in every week. If I can remain faithful to God's principles of living during my adversity, then I will grow and become more intimate with God as I learn how He works His plan in my life. When you obey, you will then leave a clear channel to find God's will in your life. Disobedience yields more disobedience but obedience yields maturity and spiritual reward.
(Psa 119:12) Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.


When we adopt a teachable position we are opening the gates of knowledge and wisdom. This is a great attitude to have because it causes us to wait on God and with every action He takes, we learn, because we are open to Him. Many Christians do not ask the Lord to teach them, instead they just want to receive their next job. If we select this attitude, we will miss what God is teaching us in preparation for our next assignment. When God allowed you to lose your job, it was for a purpose and not a mean trick.


When the Lord Jesus Christ was on earth, His entire life was not only a testimony but a classroom. He taught every moment of His life, even at times when it seemed He wasn't teaching. The training the disciples received was utilized by them throughout their ministry based lives. The disciples learned by making mistakes and by asking questions. Every event was a teaching experience for them, even at the time they received the experience they may have not understood the reason for it.


What comes to mind is when Peter came to Jesus by walking on the water. Sure Peter sunk because he looked around but look at the situation from another angle. The other disciples wouldn't even get out of the boat. Their faith was non-existent at that time so let us not get on Peter's case too hard. If you read Peter's epistles, you will see one of the major themes is the trial of the believer. He speaks from experience that we should keep focused on Christ and not the circumstances which surround us because we should expect trials in our life. So keep your spiritual eyes and ears open to the lessons the Lord will be teaching you, and if they are not to your liking, they are essential for your growth and stability in your Christian walk.
(Psa 38:18) For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.


This one is obvious. If there is a sin in my life which has a hold on me like a fortress, then God is getting my attention to get rid of it. You may have had tuggings and reminders when you were working but may have shrugged it off. Now God has placed you on the backside of the desert so there is nothing cluttering up your mind. You will now be able to take an inventory to see where that sin has you and take steps to expel it from your life. This is a besetting sin and if you have one, you have been warned many times about it from the pulpit, friends, Bible reading and study, even if it is a private sin. We can hide from man but we can never hide from God. He does not want anything in our lives which will hinder our growth or stultify our usefulness in service. A besetting sin carries consequences:
• You will carry around much guilt about it.
• If it is private you will always fear someone will find out.
• It hinders you from testifying with a clear conscience.
• You will remain at present spiritual level till it is out of your life.
• You will become very defensive about your actions.
• Instead of your life emanating inward to outward, it will be outward to inward. You will notice how much more you focus on
  your life because of the sin. You will be secretly protecting your sin. You will become self-centered until your sin is gone and
  then you will be able to live an unhindered Christian life.
(Prov 28:13) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


There are times when we commit a sin and do not realize it. Sin blinds Christians too but not to the extent it blinds the unbeliever. Sometimes we carry habits from the old life into the new life without giving it any special thought. Remember in chapter one I spoke about me sending in the contests? I was a few years into my Christian walk before I was convicted that I should not look to any of the world's schemes to get rich quick. I did not realize this was against God's principles of earning money. So I stopped doing it. We can recognize this sin in our lives very easily when we rationalize it by saying, "I will give half to my church."


When God opens our eyes to a sin in our lives, we must be quick to act on it and remove the sin. One other thing, God may use the person you least like to tell you about it and this will be another test of whether we believe the message or the messenger. Unknown disobedience can be repaired and it may take a change of lifestyle but it is attainable if you hand it over to the Lord in all sincerity. Scrutinize yourself and God will open your eyes to it.
(1 Sam 17:26) And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?


David's spiritual insight surpassed the visible picture of the Philistines challenging Israel. He saw it as Satan opposing God as he viewed Israel as the army of the living God. Now the deeper spiritual meaning of this passage gives us the key on how we should view our spiritual battles. David is a picture of Christ, Israel is a picture of the church, and Goliath is a picture of Satan. David went out to battle Goliath fearlessly and won resulting in the victory of Israel over the Philistines. Christ battled Satan at the cross and won resulting in the church triumphant which means we never have to back down to Satan because he is a defeated foe. (John 14:30) Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. This verse gives us insight, since Satan has nothing in Christ and if you are in Christ then he has nothing in you either.


During the time of unemployment we must view it as a spiritual battle. Satan will come against you with many devices to try and get you to sin against God and to divert your trust from Christ to worldly practices. The Christian is in a spiritual battle whether employed or not but we are most vulnerable when we are in a state of adversity. Whenever a bad situation arises and you are faced with seemingly overwhelming circumstances, view that as the same type of spiritual battle David faced. Read the chapter in its entirety!
(Gen 41:29-30 KJV) Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: {30} And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;


During the 1980's there was much prosperity in the United States and everyone seemed to be working and prospering. Little did people know that all the prosperity was being funded by debt. Our national debt went from 900 billion dollars in 1980 to 3.25 trillion dollars in 1990. So you see there was no prosperity in the 1980's as it was all an illusion. A financial principle is that you cannot borrow your way to financial freedom or prosperity. There can never be true prosperity when you underwrite it by debt. We now have an unpayable national debt and are teetering on the verge of global depression. (Prov 22:7) The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.


Have you ever been in debt? When you were working, who received a good portion of your funds? It was the lender wasn't it? It is the same principle in any matter of funding. Since our country borrowed uncontrollably in the 80's, the bills are now coming due, in the form of foreclosures, bankruptcy, unemployment, company closings, etc. There was a possibility you were caught in the middle and your lay off was legitimate. As Christians we can be thankful that God does not base His economy on any of the world conditions, He bases it on Himself. Even in the midst of a depression God can find you a job. So we need not look around at the situation and sink like Peter, but we may be confident that our Lord watches over us and will fulfill His will in our lives.


Title Page
Next Chapter
Table of Contents