What to Do When You Lose Your Job

Christ is our refuge. He is the place we go when life gets tough. When we feel unclean—flee to Him. When we feel to weary to go on—flee to Him. And when we feel the river of loneliness flooding the banks of our lives—flee to Him!

David faced the loss of his job and with it, his security and comfort. Everything changes when you lose your job. It is like going from breathing to holding your breath. Everyone else has places to go and things to do—and you have nothing to do and if you went you wouldn't want to spend any money. 

Our world is increasingly noting the mental and emotional troubles that come hand in hand with losing your job. Recently, the headlines of Germany’s largest newspaper read, "Germany's new 'great depression'”. Here is the article: 

Record numbers of Germans are suffering from depression and other mental illnesses, a new report says. According to the research, by a German health insurance firm, cases of depression among Berliners have risen by 70% since 1997. Up to 70% of Germans also say they are prepared to seek professional help for psychological problems. Mental health experts blamed the rise on Germany's faltering economy, which has seen unemployment rise to over 5m. German insurance firm DAK surveyed 2.6m employed Germans in an effort to discover the impact depression is having on modern working patterns. 

Vicious circle. Workers in Germany's capital, regarded as one of Europe's most vibrant modern cities, emerged as an unhappy bunch more likely to miss work through depression than for any other reason. "In times of economic insecurity, young people in particular tend to develop psychological problems in response to professional and private obstacles," said DAK's Chief Executive Herbert Rebscher

Nevertheless, most respondents said they would rather be depressed with a job than unemployed and happy. "How will someone ever get better," Burghard Klopp, a depression expert at Berlin's Charité hospital, told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, "when they know their boss is just waiting to fire them?"

So, not much has changed in 3,000 years has it?  

Loneliness—if you ever feel it, know that He felt it. If you ever suffer feeling friendless—know that He is the friend who will stick closer than a brother. If you ever feel forsaken—remember He said that He would never leave you or forsake you. If you feel alone—trust the One who said I am with you always, to the end!

Though loneliness has many forms—it has but one purpose. Loneliness is when God takes something or someone out of my life—so He can be closest to me. This means that loneliness is a tool in God’s hand. This was an opportunity for a right response by us His children. 

Christ is Portrayed as Our Lifelong Refuge from Loneliness 

So how do we prepare for the next time we feel the pangs of loneliness swirling around us? 

There is one person more than any other who shows us the hope we can find in Christ for our loneliness. More than any other person mentioned in God's Word, this person’s life is laid down for us to see from every angle. His name was David. His discoveries about the Lord in the midst of piercing loneliness are recorded as testimonies in the book of Psalms. 

We are going to look at number three of twelve areas that God's Word addresses--one at a time. We will see the situation, feel David’s loneliness and then see the solution God showed him and then recorded for our use in this wonderful book—the Bible! 

David suffers intense loneliness as he loses his job. In First Samuel 21:1-9, as he flees to Ahimelech the priest, David writes Psalm 52—how to overcome the feelings of loneliness when we are out of work. 

David lost his job. David fled from his home because of the dangers facing him. But in fleeing he also leaves behind his job. David had been continuously employed since his earliest youth.  

David always had a job. That is often who this hits the hardest—those who have never felt the sting of loss. David never had time to think about unemployment, he had tended the sheep and worked as a courier for his dad during the war by taking provisions to his brothers in the army. Then after defeating Goliath he had been hired by the government (King Saul) and worked in the various departments: entertainment (he played his harp), military (he was sent out to raid and kill the enemy Philistines), and finally as a member of the cabinet (he sat at Saul’s table as his son-in-law and advised him on security and military issues and led a squad of warriors for the king.)

David was up to his neck in work when this happened. David lived by the king, worked for the king, was married to the king’s daughter, ate with the king, served the king with music, and found all of his financial and family security in that job. But everything changed and David lost that job by a clear notice from his employer. Saul threw a spear at him and tried to kill David. That is the “pink slip” of 3,000 years ago. It was more direct and blunt back then.  

This was a big surprise to everyone but God. Recently unemployed for the first time, David faces life and looks at his situation. He now finds the pain that always surrounds such a sudden and unexpected change in everything he had relied upon. Everything but what was most important. 

David reverts to his default system. When the unexpected comes we usually respond by reflex. What was David’s habit of life, what he did without thinking very long? David had trusted the Lord from his youth, and though his job ended—his relationship with the Good Shepherd hadn’t changed a bit. That is exactly how Psalm 52 begins. Turn there with me. 

v. 1 God is good no matter what!

v. 2-4 People will always hurt us.

v. 5-7 Take God as your strength in times like this.

v. 8-9 Wait for God, cling to Him, grow through the alone time! 

Psalm 52:9 “I will praise You forever, because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait (hupomeno) on Your name, for it is good.”

Hupomeno - It means to cling, holding on tight or holding on for dear life. This is the word that God gives us is describing WAITING HOPE—it is the rendering of the Hebrew word QAVAH (6960): HOPE THAT RENEWS EXHAUSTED STRENGTH. To better grasp this word, turn with me to the most well known verse in the Bible, which is Isaiah 40:29-31.

Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait [hupomeno, endure] on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

This Hebrew verb means to 'twist and or stretch’. In the Old Testament world it was used of making rope by twisting and stretch many weak strands into a strong rope. Then this concept of rope making became a metaphor for waiting and receiving strength during weak times to endure stretching, twisting, and painful times in life.  

Those who trust God enough to take His help as He weaves His Word into our weaknesses—so that His waiting hope will make us strong.  That is why He even allows all these problems, struggles, trials, and unexpected reversals into our lives. To twist and stretch us into waiting hope! 

In the next devotional we will continue to walk with David as he looks to the Lord to be his refuge and provider in a time of unemployment.

 

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