As Christians we can expect God to have the major role in every situation we face on this earth. In fact, if God did not care and watch over us, we would all destroy ourselves because the wisdom of man leaves something to be desired. When we are unemployed, God does not abandon us, in fact it was He who designed our circumstances. God is always working on our behalf as we read in Romans 8:31, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" This verse is a great encouragement in that it tells us that if God is on our side, who could possibly oppose us? Think about that! When you became a Christian, God took on the responsibility of caring for you and that includes employment.

God commands His children to work but He may suspend that work at His desire for the purpose of setting up a circumstance in our life for a certain reason. Some of these were discussed in the previous chapters. God has given us a responsibility to spread the gospel and with that responsibility to others may come a change of job or address. God has a full right to use us in the propagation of the gospel. The great principle we remember is that wherever God sends us, He will have already gone before us to design the circumstances. Let us look at the great promise in Deuteronomy 31:8, "And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Be of good cheer, God takes His responsibilities very seriously and we benefit from it. Let us look at some responsibilities God takes on our behalf.



(John 15:5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

One of the most dangerous things which could happen to a Christian is to try and live with an independent spirit. Sometimes we get the idea that we can handle our own lives because we possess certain talents or gifts. The question is "who gave us those talents and gifts?"

God wants us to remain dependent upon Him for everything because He knows that without Him we can do nothing. The Bible has many examples of people wanting to go their own way and winding up in trouble. One that comes to mind is Moses. He killed the Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and thought he was going to deliver the children of Israel by his own method. That deed became known and Moses fled for his life to Midian. There he stayed for forty years while God trained him. God was going to free the Israelites but it was going to be in His timing and method. He eventually appointed Moses but this time he was dependent on God to lead that vast multitude out of Egypt.

After reading Exodus through Deuteronomy, do you really think that Moses could have led them in his own strength? I doubt that very much! This is why God desires us to be dependent on Him because He knows that we are in the same category as Moses. Remain dependent on God for everything and be a victor. The Lord Jesus Christ is interceding for you before God the Father. Do you want to lose the benefits of that intercession in exchange for an independent spirit? If we are a true Christian we will never lose the intercessory prayers of our Great High Priest but we will lose blessing. Does dependence on God mean we will sit back? Absolutely not! As Moses was personally involved in his task, we should have the same spirit. We must do what we can through prayer and deed, then God will do His part on our behalf and that is how victory in the Christian life is achieved. Independence is dangerous, avoid it!



(Phil 4:19) But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

If you are a born again Christian, then you are in the Lord Jesus Christ and as a result all your need will be supplied. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 6:8 that God knows all our needs before we even ask Him. (Mat 6:8) "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." God will meet our needs but it will be in His timing, something that makes us fear. Many times God will let us go low and then supply a need. I remember once I was down to ten dollars which represented available cash. Within a few days I had one hundred and fifty dollars. Why did God allow me to almost go broke before He supplied? I believe the answer may lie in Deuteronomy 8:3, "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. God wants us to live by His word and believe His promises. If there would have been a steady flow of cash, it might have placed me in an expectant mode but since I was almost broke, it was a recognized blessing.

God's timing is never bad especially when we realize that absolute wisdom is in control of the situation. Incidentally the cash I received came from different sources. One woman sent me a check for $20 and I never expected this person to send me anything. God's timing is perfect and so is His method. Do not get discouraged if there are time lapses between blessings and movement from Heaven, because as I alluded to in other portions of this book, God is always working on behalf of His children, even if we do not see the results immediately.



(Phil 1:6) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The word "perform" is better translated "will complete." God has much invested in you and He will not allow you to wander in miasmic fog, even though it seems that way when we must wait on God for a length of time. The will of God has always held a mystery for believers. In my opinion, the reason for that stems from the fact that many theologians make it so complicated. The word "will" may also be understood as "purpose." I did a study on finding the will of God for a Christian's life and the Lord gave me four simple principles to help find it. Let me share them with you and you will see how simple it is:

• Live a holy and obedient life.

• The desire to send forth the gospel.

• The knowledge of your spiritual gifts.

• The knowledge of your talents

If you live a holy and obedient life then God can communicate with you without the hindrance of sin, plus your spiritual ears and eyes will be open to the ministry God assigns you. If you have a desire to send forth the gospel, you are being obedient to the very reason the Lord Jesus Christ keeps us on earth, and that is to evangelize within the setting He places us in. If you have a knowledge of your spiritual gift(s), you will not find yourself working outside the parameters of those gifts.

In other words, a person with a certain gift will not be attempting to do the work which is designed for another spiritual gift. The gift of mercy will not be doing the work of the gift of teaching, etc. This keeps all gifts in context and there will be no confusion of ministries. Another area which is overlooked is the area of talents. If a person can sing, then God's will may be for them to sing. If a person can preach, then God's will may be pastoring or evangelism. If a person can understand technical things easily, then God's will may be to go into the work place and evangelize. God has a will ( purpose) for every believer and all you have to do is sit down and take inventory of your traits and talents. The Lord will fit you in where He has gifted you so there will be no frustration on your part. You would not call a plumber to do the work of a carpenter, would you? Neither would the Lord!



(Gen 39:20-21) And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. {21} But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Quick review! Joseph was sold into slavery by his scheming brothers and taken to Egypt. Potiphar purchased Joseph from the slave trader and he became a slave/steward in his house. Joseph soon showed the caliber of man he was so Potiphar made him chief steward of his house. Potiphar trusted Joseph so much that everything he owned went under the authority of Joseph, except his adulterous wife. Since the Lord was with Joseph, the house of the Egyptian was prospering quite well. All seemed to be going well until Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph. As a godly man, Joseph resisted and as a result of obedience, He lost his prominent position and was thrown into prison where he languished for about two years. Joseph was not bitter and I come to this conclusion because he was favored by the jailer who put him in charge of the jail. Even though Joseph changed residences, from bad to worse, he still maintained his integrity and did his best, and the Lord prospered him.

Now I want to bring this account to modern day. You had a very good job which was in the upper echelon, it was a well-paid position with many perquisites, you were giving generously to God's work, and giving glory to God for your job. One day you walk into work and you are told you are being laid off today and they want you out today. "Now wait a minute," you say, "I have been a good employee, I saved the company money, I did not cheat on time or anything else, why didn't the other guy get the ax because he is the one who cheats, steals, harasses the women in the office, and takes unauthorized time off, etc." It is a legitimate question as to why the other guy did not get the ax.

First, let me state that God does not make mistakes. If you are a child of God, he has the right to work in you any way He deems necessary to accomplish His goal. You are a child of God and the other person is not, therefore God is working in your life for your betterment. I am sure when Joseph was cast into prison he wondered what his future held, yet he always clung to the fact that God held his future. Joseph trusted God during the lean times and acted in concert with that belief. Unemployment is like a prison because it severely restrains many activities. Joseph did his chores day by day and left the big picture to God. We must do the same because we take great comfort in knowing that God has engineered the circumstances we are currently in. We do not know the result yet, and we will not until God is ready to reveal it.

I am not writing this from textbook theory. I have faced a stretch of unemployment for 27 months from June 1990 to October 1992 and as I am writing now I have been laid off again. I know what it is like waiting for the mailman, waiting for the phone to ring, cutting up your American Express Gold Card and sending it back, sending resumes to companies only to never hear from them and the seeming silence from heaven. One thing the Lord taught me is to trust Him during this time and He does by the little things He does as assurance markers. Remember my $10 to $150, it was God's way of letting me know that He did not forget about me. If we keep our spiritual eyes open we will have those assurances along the way and it will make each day brighter, even if you are out of work for a long while. God engineers circumstances for our benefit, never for our harm as we will see in the next section. Joseph had about thirteen years of adversity but following his test, he had eighty years as the Vice-Pharaoh of Egypt. Not a bad reward for enduring God's training period. Could God be training you for something better or different?



(2 Ki 6:16-17) And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. {17} And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

In many places the Scriptures teach us that God is always watching over His children to protect them from harmful situations. At this point let me say that sometimes God's children experience gruesome things, and this is a fact we must accept in a sinful world. When God engineers a circumstance He will protect us. We will never know the countless times God has protected us from bad circumstances. With more time on our hands, God knows we can get into much trouble, especially if we become idle so he protects us from ourselves. If we go looking for trouble we will find it and I believe it will lengthen our time of unemployment. We must never be in places Christians should not be. If we become rebellious over our unemployment, God may temporarily withdraw His hand of restraint and allow us to reap what we sow. God will protect us but we must never take that to mean that I can do whatever my sinful nature desires. If you think you may have a rebellious spirit then read and study the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and see how he went from haughtiness to humiliation. Stay obedient and under the protection of the Lord. Read and study Psalm 91.



(Job 2:6) And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

God will never allow you to be placed in a situation which will be detrimental to you. Now it is true that Christians throughout the world face grave trials everyday but within the context of those trials there must be a faith in God that He will see us through. As children of the living Christ it is imperative for us to know that he will never forsake us or give us over to something harmful as a game. Everything which comes into our lives is a teaching experience. As God did with Job, He will do for us. He will limit the extent of the trial because He wants to teach us, not injure us. God placed a limit on the activities of Satan for Job and He will do the same for you.

Let us briefly look at a person in Scripture who had their trial limited. The person is Abraham. God came to him and said He wanted him to sacrifice Isaac to Him. Abraham was obedient and went as far as lifting the knife over the boy's body with an obedient readiness to plunge it into him. Then God intervened at the last moment and halted Abraham from killing the boy. The key to enduring a harsh trial is to realize that God's timing is perfect. Let us take the scenario and dialogue step by step.


God Abraham I want you to sacrifice Isaac to me on Mt. Moriah

If you notice the scenario, when it seemed the child would be put to death, God intervened and stopped it because it was a faith test. Abraham proved his faith to God without having to sacrifice his son. As God set a boundary in Abraham's trial, He will do the same for you.

Not all of our trials will be that difficult. I went to the store for an aged widow and she gave me $3 which I accepted and when I delivered her groceries she wanted to give me another $5. I told her that it was not necessary because she already gave me enough. I once picked up two newspapers by accident and brought them home. I could have kept and just threw it in the recycle bin but instead I took it back. I think a key principle rises to the surface. Do not look for the big tests but keep your spiritual eyes open for the small ones. Pass the small ones and God will set limits on the big ones. I think we Christians tend to look at huge trials and neglect the little ones which come our way each day. Some little trials which test us come under the umbrella of: driving, attitudes, home life, etc. Look at the little pictures and leave the big picture to God. Never tell God you want tribulation because it will come. I knew a Christian who thought he was so spiritual that he walked into church one morning and in front of us he looked at Heaven and said, "Okay God send the tribulation I'm ready." He was not ready because he was a spiritual midget. His van broke down a few days later and the person that was with him told me he was swearing and angry. He thought he was strong enough but he was weak. Always be on the lookout for spiritual arrogance in your life.

Title Page

Next Chapter

Table of Contents