Photo credit: Kevin_P from morguefile.com
I've heard that the recession is over, or was a year ago apparently, but that's a post for another time. Many people still deal with the difficulty of unemployment, my family included, and probably always will in one way or another. If you, your spouse or someone in your immediate family is unemployed, it can be a difficult and challenging time in your life. Here's some scripture I've relied on and my thoughts - I hope they'll help you.
1st Corinthians 7:17 says, "You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you."
Don't assume that because you're unemployed that it isn't part of God's plan. The night before my husband lost his job, he had a funny feeling. Things had been going on at the place he worked and there were rumblings of people being let go. He called me and we talked for quite awhile. He said he'd been thinking about what would happen if he lost his job but that he'd been praying and that he'd come to terms with it, that he knew everything would turn out okay.
Our little family has had it's share of rough times but we've always relied on God's promise that everything will be okay. We know we'll be alright as long as we stick together, pray and do what we feel is right. And the same is true for you - you can be a Christian and live your life anywhere, in any situation if you have faith.
Philippians 4:12 - 13 says, "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need."
When you have to reevaluate your life after a job loss, death or other life altering experience, you discover what is truly important. You learn that there are things you can live without and that with time, maybe those things weren't "needs" as much as "wants." A blessing in disguise may be that you've learned a lot more about saving money, growing your own food or how to cut back on your bills. God also has a funny way of supplying the things we really truly need. One of my blogging friends wrote a very encouraging blog post about the ways God blessed and helped her family when her husband was unemployed.
James 1: 2 - 4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James says "when" we have trials, not "if" or "maybe." We are not promised an easy, carefree life. It is still possible to receive blessings during hard times. That's not say that we should just pretend everything is fine and that we're completely happy - instead we should try to stay positive and look at the blessings. For us, it was more family time together. For you, maybe it's a needed break, a change of scenery you'd been desiring anyway, a chance to start over again. And it's always good to remember that things could ALWAYS be worse. There are lot of people worse off than us. We can learn a lot about ourselves when we experience hardship, probably more than we would normally.
It's easy to be happy and content when things are good isn't it? But what about when things are bad and we're struggling? Trials and tribulation help us to become a better person, as James said "more mature and complete." We often pray for God to solve our problems but sometimes that's not his plan. Sometimes he wants us to wait and learn patience or to develop more strength through a difficult situation, maybe so you can help someone else. I know that since we have experienced unemployment, I now have a greater understanding and empathy for people that are going through the same situation.