Fear of Job Loss

by

Sometimes I worry about losing my job. Do you? I mean, I work pretty hard. But you never know, you know? Maybe funding for our organization won’t come in. Or perhaps the organization’s needs will change.

Or even—I’m embarrassed to admit this—we’ll face societal breakdown, like in one of those “day-after” movies, where the square-jawed hero has to defend himself and his two precious children with nothing but his wits and a shotgun, as marauders patrol burned-out streets in pickup trucks with tough-guy rollbars. No, that’s not a big worry—but it crosses my mind.

More realistically, foreign governments could call in our debts, tanking the dollar and collapsing the economy. Then a massive natural disaster could hit. You think those things could never happen?

It’s easy to think about job loss when you’re balancing the checkbook or watching shower tiles fall in your twenty- five-year-old bathroom. Should we redo the bathroom or save the money? I wonder if gold is the safest investment. Wait, gold just tanked. Maybe I should get that shotgun.

I have to tell you, it’s a good thing I go to church because my mind can go in crazy directions. Every Sunday, my pastor opens the Good Book and helps me think better thoughts.

Let me show you. In the last few months, my pastor has been preaching through John’s gospel. I take pretty decent notes. Do you know what has encouraged me as I think about job loss?

JESUS CAME TO SAVE US FROM SIN

Teaching from John 4, my pastor told us that Jesus came to save us from sin. Like the Samaritan woman who wanted water, we also have physical needs that must be met. Jesus cares about these needs, but He intends to have all the symptoms of the fall, including thirst, illness, and even job loss, point us to the real disease—sin.

God allows bad stuff to happen to His children, such as losing one’s job. The Bible doesn’t promise that we will never lose our jobs. We might. But if we are Christians, we know that the things that should really make us afraid—sin and God’s punishment—are taken care of. Our future is guaranteed.

GOD DISPLAYS HIS GLORY THROUGH TRIALS

When he got to John 9, my pastor helped us think more about the tough times in life. “Put yourself in the shoes of the blind man’s parents,” my pastor said. “Imagine living in their day and having a baby who was born blind. You might ask, how would he provide for himself? Would he experience poverty? Be socially ostracized?”

How comforting, then, to hear Jesus’ words: “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (v. 3).

As with the blind man, the Bible does not promise that we won’t face trials. But it does promise that God will display His glory through the trials of His saints.

JESUS WILL PRESERVE US

My pastor then pointed us to a great promise in John 10—no one can snatch Jesus’ sheep out His hand. He then said something interesting: “Scripture presents us as sheep in need. Do you think of yourself as a sheep in need? Or are you living by ‘health plus wealth equals happiness’?” That latter equation is a lie, he exclaimed.

I’ll say it again: we might lose our jobs. Christianity does not promise our best life now, so give up the false religion. Trust instead that Jesus will preserve us for Himself and eternity.

PERFECT TIMING AND LOVE

The very next week, my pastor taught us from John 11 that God’s love doesn’t always look like we expect it to. Remember when Jesus found out that Lazarus was sick? John tells us: “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place where He was.” What? Jesus loved him, so He let him die? Well, think of what Jesus prayed before raising Lazarus: He did all this so that people would believe.

Look,” my pastor said, “bad things will happen. And when they do, don’t try to force an explanation. Acknowledge that life can be hard, but then back up. Recall what you know of God, and trust that His timing and His love are perfect.”

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