Living By Faith Blog

Icon

Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

How To Help Someone Who Lost His Job

Help from Microsoft Publisher Clipart“I Lost My Job”

Last week I got an email from “Sam” in my home group.  He said he had lost his job.

I was out of town.  So all I could do was call him, listen to what happened, encourage him with some of God’s promises, and pray for him.

But I knew we needed to do more.

Gather The Brothers

Paul says the church is like the human body (1Cor 12:12).  Which means that when one part is injured, the whole body feels it and does what it can to help (1Cor 12:25).

So I knew we should not leave Sam to fight the fight of faith alone.  We needed to gather round him and help him.

So I sent a text message to the men in our home group and other men who knew Sam well, asking them to come to meet at my home.  We met Sunday afternoon.

Hear What He’s Been Going Through

Paul says it’s crucial that we weep with those who weep (1Cor 12:26).  So we asked Sam how he had been doing.

He shared fears he’d been battling, discouragements he’d been feeling, and lies he’d been hearing.  We listened, and tried to care and sympathize as best we could.

He also shared ways God had been encouraging, strengthening, and comforting him.  We rejoiced in how God’s grace had sustained him.

Help Him Fight Satan’s Lies

Then he said he’d been struggling with whether he could have done something to avoid the job loss.  We agreed that it was important to learn from the past.

But we urged him to fight Satan’s lie that his past actions could make God turn from him.  The truth is that even if he could have done something to avoid his job loss, that had no bearing on God’s commitment to him now.

To see this we read 1 Samuel 12:20-22.  Israel had sinned by choosing a king.  Now they saw their sin, and feared that God would abandon them.  But here’s what Samuel said —

Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil.  Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart … For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.

Even though Israel had sinned, if they would turn back to God, He would not forsake them.  All of God’s promises would still be true for them.

We emphasized that we were not saying Sam had done anything wrong.   But the point was that regardless of the past, God was still 100% committed to him.   Which meant that God would continue fulfill all of his promises to him.

Sam told us that deeply strengthened him.

Encourage Him With God’s Promises

We shared Jeremiah 32:40-41 —

I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them … I will rejoice in doing them good.

We encouraged him that God was completely in control of his layoff, and that while it is painful and difficult, God had brought this about as a way to bring him great good — especially the good of more closeness with Him.

We also mentioned Matthew 6:33 —

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

And Philippians 4:19 —

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Help Him Develop A Game Plan

Then we helped him develop a step-by-step game plan, including —

  • daily time in prayer and God’s Word
  • time talking and praying with his wife
  • the best use of his time to find another job
  • meeting with his past boss to ask the reason for the layoff, and to see if they would be a reference for him
  • people to ask about job possibilities
  • immediate steps to increase his income
  • immediate steps to decrease his expenses
  • short-term jobs he might be able to get immediately

Pray With And For Him

Then we laid hands on him and spent lengthy time praying for him.

We earnestly asked God to give him —

  • contentment in Christ
  • trust in God’s promises
  • wisdom and guidance
  • strength and courage
  • a new job quickly
  • financial provision
  • protection from the evil one

As we prayed one brother felt that God was specially speaking Psa 46:1-2 to Sam —

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

Another brother felt impressed to read Philippians 4:4-7 —

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It was a powerful prayer time.

Point Him To Jesus Christ As His Treasure

We ended by encouraging him to take advantage of this trial by pressing deeper into experiencing Jesus Christ as his all-satisfying treasure.

We said that one reason God brings trials is to bless us with even more closeness to Himself, as the difficulty of trials drives us to Christ (2Cor 12:9-10).

So we encouraged him not to waste even one day of his unemployment — since every day of unemployment is a gift of special nearness to Christ Himself.

Feedback

When we were finished, we asked if the time had been helpful, and if so, how.

He said he had been strengthened, and that what was most helpful was hearing more promises, and the list of practical steps he needed to take.

We all left deeply encouraged.

Thoughts?  Comments?

I’d love to hear them.  Leave a reply below — thanks.

If you know someone this would help, email it to them using the “share” button below.  Or use the other buttons to share it on your favorite social media.

If you would like to interact with others who are seeking to live by faith in Christ, visit our Forums page.

If you would like to receive a Saturday email summarizing the week’s posts — subscribe here.  (I will only use your email address for Living By Faith Blog communications, and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

And here are some related posts you might find helpful –

 

(Picture is from Microsoft Publisher Clipart.)

Category: Fellowship, Church Life, and Relationships, Work and Unemployment

Tagged:

12 Responses

  1. Nsikan says:

    Steve, that was awesome. How i wish such acts of love will be displayed in all christian circles. The truth is that Jesus, Himself, said that by THIS (i.e, love) shall men know that we are His disciples”.

  2. marrie says:

    Pastor Steve,

    Thanks for sharing these powerful messages with us. You may not know, but you are a great encouragement to us.

    God bless you

  3. Andrew says:

    This blog entry is a balm on my soul this morning. I’ve been unemployed for three months and have been struggling with a great deal of anxiety and depression, especially as time has progressed and no job has come. Reading this and the passages you mentioned truly fortified me. Thank you and God bless.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Andrew,

      I am so glad this brought you some comfort. Thank you for letting me know. And may the Father continue to comfort you, strengthen you, and quickly provide a job for you.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  4. GunaJustin says:

    I was really happy reading ur blog…this article provokes me so much as my brother lost his job and is in the same state as u said of sam….many times i worry..pray 2 god…really dont knw his will for him…do advise and pray

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi GunaJustin,

      I am very sorry to hear about your brother. Probably the best encouragement I can give is to find the link titled “Promises For Those Struggling With Unemployment.” Maybe you could send that to your brother.

      And you might be interested to hear that Sam received a job offer three days ago. God is faithful.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  5. alfred says:

    hi.i lost my job three days ago and i was so stressed.this story has really inspired me alot and i know God will come through for me too.thanks

  6. Peter says:

    Please I need employment and Finances. I lost my Job in July 2013 and I !now a coworker rallied other coworkers and had me terminated. He had a rap sheet for Retail theth took meals from the convenience store and borrow money from guest and did not them back I bought him meals too.
    Somehow I was in the wrong otherse get away with murder

  7. Lucie Tanzania says:

    Real it sound well when you pass difficult time and others spare they time to encourage, May God bless, I’am going through the same matter.
    and i regard such prayer you did for Sam as mine.

  8. Jean says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I also lost my job and I feel so encouraged in The Lord and I will treasure each day as u have said that each unemployment day is a gift of special nearness to Christ Himself.

    Thank you. Be blessed.

Leave a Reply

Join 2,375 people who receive each week’s posts by email

More Help for Your Faith

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Feedback

"I just found your blog recently, and I've NEVER found such clarity, understanding and comfort before." (Sarah)

"AWESOME. Going to mangle this sin tonight with the Promises of God." (Alec)

"If I could subscribe to only one blog, yours would be it." (Lyn)

"I think you are really on to something with this blog. I don’t know of anything else like it." (Doug)

"Excellent comment. Really well put and wisdom that is strangely lacking in much evangelical thinking." (John)

"Thank you -- I needed to hear this. So clear and concise yet captivating." (Stacey)

"Such a helpful post. I’ve bookmarked it and reread it two or three mornings just this week." (Doug)