Jul 2, 2013
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.
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.
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 –
- Promises for Those Struggling with Unemployment
- Feeling Discouraged Or Hopeless?
- How Can I Help Others Grow In Faith?
- 3 Ways God’s Grace Can Transform Your Work
(Picture is from Microsoft Publisher Clipart.)