Jobless - Hopeful
Holly Good, Assistant to Lysa TerKeurst, She Speaks! Graduate

"… humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." James 1:21b (NIV)

My husband doesn't have a job. As the result of a merger he lost his job after having been with his organization for 21 years. In the world of banking we were quite used to mergers and the threat of losing his job throughout our entire marriage. But last summer the cyclical threat came to fruition. His job was eliminated and he came home.

Life has certainly taken an interesting twist. I now wake up before he does. I leave the house for work and he stays home. He has cooked most of our meals, has helped our daughter apply to colleges, taken on a more active role in our middle school son's schoolwork and sports, and fixed a water problem in our back yard. And just now as I write this, I received a text from him at the grocery store, 'Do you want cinnamon flavored dental floss or regular?' Yes, he now does a majority of the grocery shopping as well.

We have had our struggles too. The what-ifs rear their ugly head and make an unwanted appearance in our minds from time to time. In addition to fleeting thoughts of fear and doubt, we have had our share of unwanted financial burdens as well. Our air conditioner broke; we had two pipe leaks in our home, a gas leak, our garage door broke, dreaded car repairs, and unexpected vet bills.

But we wait. And we hope. And we wait and hope some more.

Just this morning I read the book of James and was completely encouraged by the message God reveals through James' words. I came away with renewed insight in two areas of my life: drawing near to God and humbling myself before Him.

As we wait and we hope, God is also waiting. Waiting for me to come near to Him for strength, hope and peace. True fulfillment in these three areas can only be realized and received from the Giver of life. The One who holds the world in the palm of His hand. The One who spoke us into existence. As I come near to Him, He will come near to me. Not always on my timetable or in the way I would predict or prescribe, but in His perfectly sculpted plan.

And humbling myself before Him is not robotically proclaiming, "I guess You are right God and I perhaps I am wrong." It means to come to a place where I can honestly admit that humbling myself before Him means that I recognize my worth comes from Him and Him alone. My very worth. Everything in and of me. I must submit and realize that I don't know the path without His guidance, power and favor.

It's so easy to run ahead and plan our attempts to work things for our good. Through the past seven months we have had to learn to wait, hope and trust beyond our comprehension. Beyond our plan. Beyond our wishes.

We've had to pause, wait and focus on the good that He is doing each day.

We've had to resist and flee the doubts and fears that creep in at a moments notice.

We've had to learn and relearn that as we humbly draw near to Him, we must trust, and leave the rest to Him.

And just in case you are curious, I asked for the cinnamon flavored dental floss.

Dear Lord, I admit that I need You today. Help me focus on what is true. Keep my mind from doubting Your plan. I know full well that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Change me and then use me Lord. Thank You for entrusting me with all that I have. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Please visit Lysa’s blog for more insight and a chance to win a year’s subscription to our P31 Woman Magazine for the best kind of monthly encouragement.

She Speaks! Conference

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Read the book of James. Prayerfully search the depths of your heart and ask God for wisdom as you read. He will teach you many things about faith, perseverance, compassion, service, speech, submission, concern for others and sharing.

Reflections:
In what areas did you find encouragement as you read James?

What have you learned about faith, trials and perseverance?

Power Verses:
James 4:8a, "Come near to God and he will come near to you." (NIV)

James 4:10, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." (NIV)

James 3:17, "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." (NIV)

© 2010 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.

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40 Comments:

Blogger Heidi said...

Oh how this speaks to my heart! Three years ago my husband started his own business. We had a 1-yr-old at the time and we were 27 & 25 respectivelly. Then came the turn of the economony. Last year we probably lost close to $40,000 in profit, money that we were expecting & depending on. What a terrifying time for our family! (We had a new baby in 2008 so now there were 4 of us.) Not knowing what to do most every month or week, we leaned on God and to our surprise...He provided. I'm ashamed to say that we were surprised. But we were. Especially me. We're still not completely out of the woods financially, but God has shown us such mercy and grace in this time. I have learned to lean on Him and take EVERYTHING to Him. He is good ALL the TIME! He WILL take care of His children.

Thanks for your encouragment!

P.S. I would have chosen cinnamon too! :)

Blogger Lysa TerKeurst said...

Thank you for your wise words friend! This message will resonate deeply in many hearts today... as it did in mine.

I love you and consider it a great honor to do life with you everyday.

Thank you for being you.

Anonymous Sarah (GenMom) said...

What wonderfully encouraging words! You've turned lemons into lemonade:)

I will be in prayer for your family. It is tough to be in that situation but God teaches us so much in times of struggle, doesn't he?

Thank you for sharing. Love the cinnamon too - but even more that he would ask! How cute is that?

Praise the Lord for his lessons in big and small.

Thank you so much for sharing such an encouraging message of hope and faith. I'm going right now to read James.

Anonymous Beth said...

My husband and I went through a time of no jobs, but through obedience to Him, we stepped out in faith, moved to another town, bought a house, my husband started his own business and God has continued to provide. What also resulted in that season was a closer bond with our two daughters. He was there for them and still is. We are still going through this season, but our characters continue to be molded to be more like HIM. To have faith like Jesus. organizebyheart@yahoo.com

Anonymous carol said...

Your message spoke to me with a renewed spirit of hope. I have always told myself and others to draw near to God, but to put it in action is not always a natural response. My prayer is to truly come before Him with a surrendered heart...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother Kevin has been without a job since July 2009. The circumstances that he lost it in were not very good and now he thinks that because of that no one will hire him. He needs alot of prayer. I ask everyone who reads this comment today to please pray for him. Holly I will be praying for you and your husband also.
Thanks Denise

Anonymous llafontaine80 said...

Several month ago my husband and I BOTH lost our jobs. A week after my husband lost his job, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. That same say I was involved in a car accident. Talk about being completely stressed out! I drew nearer to God because I didn't know what else to do. We had our share of what scary what-if moments and it seemed like we waited for an eternity, but God pulled us through. We haven't lost our house, we have never gone without food, and we were able to keep our health insurance (since I will be going to the doctor quite a lot now). Two weeks ago, God answered our prayers and blessed us both with job offers in the same week. My prayer now is that I won't become complacent and forget his grace, but rather continue to draw closer to him.

Blogger Julie said...

Being unemployed for a month so far has allowed me to put my perspective in focusing on God. A sweet mentor who I consider a kind friend had suggested reading verses you described in the book of James as well when I first became laid off. I realized that we must listen to Him and follow through in His words to find the direction whether it be the same career path or an entirely upside down different path. I never had the time to read Proverbs 31 or any of the website blogs and I now have the extra time to reflect and listen to Him speaking to my heart. At times, I do wish I could just take any job that is available and want to make sure that this next job allows me to be the daughter in Christ I thirst to be as well as being a mom to a young child and a wife to the most patient and understanding husband who is fortunately still employed in the industry that he works in and allows me to do things I never had time for...we hope that this time will be enough to steer me in the right direction. Thanks for a great devotion directed at what I am going through today and I look forward to reading through James.

Blogger Robin said...

Thank you for the encouragement today! I lost my job in January 2009 and had our third child in June 2009. My husband had just started his own business because we thought my job was secure. God has blessed him and his business grows each month. I am taking things day by day. I truly thought I would have a job by now but I am trying to be patient and follow God's will for my life not just what I want. We have been blessed in so many ways this last year and while the time at home seems awkward at times I am grateful for it. Thanks again for pointing us back to God's word

Blogger Phyllis said...

As a single (divorced) Christian homeschooling mom who works from home, I would lke to say, God wants us to rely on him all the time--not just in the rough times, and I am learning to do this day by day. Give us, Lord, this day, our daily bread. Walk in faith step by step, day by day.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are so many in this situation right now.
Our small businesses have taken a huge economic hit.
To make matters worse, fraud was committed against us, which resulted in all our credit being taken away (and we had flawless credit). We have no emergency funds left.
We have barely been able to pay our very high health insurance premiums, and/or other bills since January. Things seem to be picking up a bit, but it is slow and stressful which is affecting our health.
Mostly it grieves us that because people are not paying us, we cannot pay others and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Been clinging to Scriptures in various places, reading Psalms daily and asking Him for help.
Praying for all who have hurting small businesses or no jobs.
And there are many.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denise, I lost my job in September of 2007 under circumstances that were not very good. I am just beginning to start to look for a job and it was so interesting to see your post this morning. I will definately be praying for your brother. I only hope he doesn't wait as long as i have. I can already feel myself being more "alive" just by doing the simply things that i have done to prepare for a job...God can do the impossible..thank You Jesus for answering prayers...In Christ's Love, Tanya

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Denise, I too lost my job under not very good circumstance in September of 2007. I almost gave up completely on life until God came along and told me I can do it!!! Denise, I will be praying for your brother and praying that the job that God wants him to have will be made clear...Thank you so much for your post today...just knowing someone is going thru pretty much the same thing I am somehow makes it more bearable..Praying for your brother...In Christ's Love, Tanya..

Blogger TMOPRAYS said...

Wow! God always brings us what we ask for. I was asking for guidance in my situation, and then I read this.

My husband was out of work for a year, and he just started a job on Monday last week; however, there has been a lot of me going on in our home lately. Me, in that, I have been getting working, planning, and simply not humbling myself before Father knowing who is ultimately in control.

I heard a sermon this morning driving into work that talked about seeking help in time of need. He said we should not be asking our 'friends' "What do you think about this situation?" Instead, he said we should be asking our 'Godly friends', "What do you think the Word has to say about this situation?" He also said, we should be hitting our knees, asking , and waiting.

These are all the things I know to do, but it seems like I have not been leaning on my Father, but my own understanding and planning. This was a good word for me with Biblical support. I guess God is trying to reach me through the sermon and this devotion. I guess I need to stop and just listen to Him.

I feel blessed and refreshed. Thank you for putting this out there. Thank you Father, for pursuing me even when I am trying to be in control.

Blogger gretchen said...

Holly - the words you penned I could've have written myself - only they would've told a journey of quitting my job as a teacher to stay home to homeschool my two young boys. When I quit we lost 2/3 of our income and were making it but struggling on my husband's church salary (he's a graphic designer four our church) - then the LORD decided to unexpectedly bless us with another baby... on the way and due in October. My faith has been small. I need to humble myself before the ALMIGHTY and rest in HIS care - knowing that HE will provide all that I need according to His glorious riches and grace in Christ Jesus. Thank you for your words and sharing. They uplift me... even just by knowing that I am not alone in the struggle of faith and trust in Him. A sweet friend also emailed me this morning and reminded me that I most likely wouldn't be in this place forever. Moses didn't stay in the wilderness forever - Noah wasn't in the ark forever - even though it seems like it at times. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your words have blessed me.

Blogger Jenifer M said...

Your words are very encouraging. My husband was laid off almost the entire year of 2009. I am a stay at home mom to four kids and he is our provider. He works construction and the way the enconomy is there was no work at all. He even tried to change careers but was not able to find anything. After awhile, unemployment ran out. I started babysitting but then those kids went back to school. We had no income. But God provided every step of the way! When we should have lost our home and car, we didn't. When we should have lost electricity and water, we didn't. When we should have went hungry, we didn't. God was always there by our side providing for us in miraclous ways. And last month, my husband's job called and had him come back. We are still recovering from last year (and earlier this year) but with God by our side, we are taken care of. God is so good!

Blogger Anita Armas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Anita said...

Thank you Holly...When faced with difficult and challenging circumstances it's easy to believe you are the only one going through it. Your words reminded me that there are many out there dealing with the same challenges and struggles and that we need the encouragement and support of our family in Christ.

Eight years ago my husband and I left good jobs to start our concrete construction business. For seven years our business was very successful, it provided 100% of our family's income and health benefits. When the economy tanked, we made several cut-backs which included us not taking salaries, that was December 2008. The entire year of 2009 we lived off of our savings all the while working to keep the business afloat.

It was only through the grace of God that we made it through 2009. Now, in early 2010, things are begining to get a little better, but because of the loss of business we faced last year we are faced with filing bankruptcy. Let me tell you, we both struggled a lot with this decision, it goes against everything we believe. However, we know that no matter what, as long as we put God first and make him the center of our lives, He will see us through.

Your prayers are deeply appreciated, and I pray for you, your husband and your family as well.

Anonymous SpringsInTheDesert said...

Thank you so much for that devotion. It encourages everyone who waits for a miracle in their life. What I have learned from this wait is that..the more you wait the more you humble before God..the more you will realise who you are in Him.

Thank you..and keep writing..

Anonymous Amy said...

I lost my job a month ago and am actively looking for work. I also know God has a plan for my life and will present the best opportunities for me. I am believing in the one job God has for me. It is so hard being patient and waiting on God. I am a single mom of a toddler.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to let you all know..that Praise God my prayer has been answered...after reading this devotion, I decided to go look. I met a wonderful man named Stephen who said he only takes apps on mondays between 8-9..but praise God he let me fill one out and he told me to check back with him tomorrow....I need a job so desperately and this is only prolly 3 miles from my house...thank you Jesus for your goodness and for answering our prayers...Praise your name..

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a widowed mom with five children and home educating them all...I can testify that God IS our provider. I did not become the *Dad* when I lost my husband. I have no living extended family, no govt aid and no outside check from insurance etc. GOD provides. I am completely without any debt. My home is debt-free and I was blessed last year with a NEW vehicle that comfortably fits us all. We are able to bless others. I do not work outside of my home. God provides in many many ways. I do have a home-based business. That is one way He provides. We have learned to pray specifically, to always tithe AND give offerings. It is a blessing to give. Talking to my Father and listening to Him through His word and that still small voice are critical! Blessings abound! :)

Blogger Diane's Blog said...

This is great today. You always say exactly what I need! Our lives seem to run parallel many times, so I can crawl right into your words and understand them with an empathetic heart. My husband also texts me from the grocery store while I'm teaching and asks me similar questions. (Example from Friday: Question: "What kind of bread do you want?" Answer: "Ezekiel Bread in the freezer section.")He's been so wonderful in his time of unemployment. Mostly, God has shown up in so many ways in our lives and has blessed us beyond comprehension. I do believe the Kind of the Universe takes care of us and knows our every need.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The spirit of God is always with us. He will never leave us or forsake us!

Blogger marilyn said...

Blessings to you and your family. I am asking prayers for my unemployed 24year old not only to find a job but something he enjoys. Wisdom for him and my 4 girls, especially scholarships to attend college especially the one that had to leave a great school to return home and attend a local college because of our finaces...

Blogger Lori said...

Thank you for your timely message today. Please pray for my 27 year old son who is married with a family. He is unemployed and has been for over one year. While relocating is not an option at this time please pray for employment that is a reasonable distance from home. Please also pray for my husband who has been unemployed for about 3 months.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read every single one of the comments left for this daily devotion. Every single one of them spoke to my heart, and it filled me with hope and love for every woman out there.
Last night at church I went down to the altar to ask God for guidance in my life, and my pastor came and prayed for me and told me, "God wants me to tell you that he wants you to trust him, and that you might be going through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but it is only a shadow.
It is only a shadow, and I am going through not staying. I just want to all of those who only have their trust in God to get them through the day...you might be going through the Shadow of the Valley, but our God(our wonderful and loving God)will bring us through that Valley, so be strong in faith and prayer...and fear no evil.

Blogger Schweers' Mom said...

It is so encouraging to hear how others are dealing with the same journey that my husband and I are on. The desert is a very interesting place to be at this stage of our lives. I could have written every single one of your words - my husband lost his job April 10th, 2009. This is our 2nd round of unemployment (first time was just 5 years ago for 16 months). Trusting God on a daily basis is definitely a lesson I'm learning. Like you, I'm working too and am thankful that my husband is willing to take up the slack around the house with cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.

Praying for you! Won't it be sweet to celebrate a job for our husbands one day?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holly,
Ditto to yours and all the comments made previously. We are losing a business of 16 years of HARD, HARD work, and the horizon is completely dark and unknown. I do have belief and faith, but feel desperate for encouragement toward it and to keep it strong. I feel like this is such a lonely place and time. Thank you for the courage to share your story with us and the others who did as well. Hopefully we will become a new nation that is more grateful and God fearing, loving, compassionate, etc. than ever before in history. That would be wonderful!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lysa this was JUST the devotional I needed today (I am discovering that many day's here at Proverbs 31 I find that the day's devotional is JUST what I needed.Thank you so much! We relocated for my husbands job promotion and I had to leave a good job in October and I am still looking for my next good job! Your husband will be in our prayers that he finds a job that is JUST what God has planned for him.
Thank you for this website. I heard you on WDJC in AL a while ago, talking about your book More than a Good Bible Study girl. Your radio interview made such an impression on me I bought the book (LOVED IT) and found your site. Keep doing what you to, it is very uplifting!
Kerri MacDonakd

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for timely your words! After losing my job almost a year ago, I've seen God supply needs over and over in His Perfect Time--never too soon and never late. With God, timing is everything!!

After and reading all your stories, I'm wondering if this economic situation isn't our paradoxical Blessing in Disguise.

While it seems ANYthing but a blessing, I'm also realizing how many times I've been able to say "God gave... God sent... God provided. He did it again!!"

By pointing the beams of our
"little lights" on Him and His faithfulness, we glorify Him and others will take note. And sharing these exciting stories with unbelieving family, friends and neighbors (PLUS offering to share some of what He's provided) will also draw some of them to Him.
~Saying "Yes" to Him

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Holly, thank you for such wise, honest and beautiful written words. I so appreciate that way you and Dan are ministering to so many out of your own brokenness and need. I am praying for you both and for each woman/family that is represented here and on Lysa's blog this week. Asking Jesus to provide grace, peace and open doors of provision for each of you. Love you!!

Renee

Blogger Amy said...

Earlier this week, I posted on my blog essentially the same post -- except mine did not include the grace and faith that yours did. Mine was more of a dire "why me" rant. I'm so glad a friend shared your post with me. It has helped to reframe my perspective.

Blogger MrsLouis01 said...

Praise the Lord! I have been jobless for 2 years and have been a stay at home mom for those 2 years as well. And yes, it has been tough at times but God always shows Himself true to me. I am thankful that my husband works and we are able to pay our bills, most of them early too. God truly does wait for us to draw near to Him and He does draw near back to us. God is just awesome like that!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate to Anon. (8:24 PM).
We too have worked so hard, and the sad thing is we are so willing and desiring to be working and there is no work.
I am praying for everyone in this situation.
Right now we do not have our mortgage money, car loan money, or money to pay ourselves this week.
Just praying God steps in.

Blogger Allison said...

Holly,

Some how I missed this devotion. But, found it through Lysa's blog! I just want to write and encourage you. My husband also works in the banking industry. He was let go back in August 2009. It happened the first day I started graduate school. I have to say that it was one of the roughest times in our life, but the best. We both grew closer to the Lord. He healed a lot of past wounds.

There were so many sweet times during his unemployment(2 months.) You are probably doing this, but write things down to have so you can look back and see how He provided. Lift your "Ebenezers" (1 Samuel) in praise and worship.

I am praying for you, Dan and your children!

In Christ Alone

Blogger Kgalalelo said...

Can you please pray for me, I have been retrenched for the past 2 years and I cannot find a job even the business that I wanted to start is not coming together. right now I don't even have any money to pay my mortgage and my medical bills. Pray for me to have wisdon, hope, trust and faith in the lord. To believe that with good all is possible and that I should be patient and let go take control of my life.

Gloria

Anonymous Cyndie said...

Thanks for your timely post, what a blessing it is to me. I have been going through a financial struggle, that drains me mentally. I am the only one employed, currently. My husband has been out of work for quite some time, and I found myself getting frustrated at him for not searching like I wanted him to. I have prayed numerious times for God to "MOVE" him from his "VALLEY" to want to seek employment.
He has been unemployed SO long, and has only found odd/handyman jobs since. Just last week, he received a denial letter on a job that we both were sure he'd get. He just stood there dumbfounded on the denial. He said, "anybody gets a job there.. even kids in school!! Why not ME?" Then it hit me,perhaps this is GOD's way of showing me that my husband is trying, When I read your post, suddenly I realized that this may be exactly what God's plan is! I feel certain he is trying me MOVE me past my feelings of frustration in my financial situation, to thinking more and more on things of God. It isn't what we have/ don't have that defines us, it's what we have within.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He, who has cattle on a thousand hills, who is the creator of the universe, calls ME friend!! When I Think about the Lord, how he saved me, how he raised me, how he picked me up and turned me around, and placed my feet on solid ground, it makes me want to SHOUT...HALLELUJAH! Thank you Jesus!
I love Amy Grant's song, better than a Hallelujah.. sometimes we go through struggles in this life, that causes us to lean on him, to seek his face, to learn to trust in him, so that we will have a closer walk with him, it's those Better than a hallelujah moments that drawl us to him, that make us stronger!

Thanks for sharing, and all the comments, have helped me see, that I am not alone in my struggles.

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