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Am I heading on the right path? What kind of work am I supposed to be doing now that I am laid off?
Thank you for your question. We sympathise with you in what must be difficult time having lost your job, but we are sure that God has a purpose in what is happening, and we are grateful for the chance to help you through in any way we can.
Your question really contains two areas, which we will deal with separately. Firstly I would like to deal with the issue of work, and what our attitude to it should be. The Bible is very clear with us in this regard when it says this:
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
Paul is speaking here of people who are too lazy to do anything that is worthwhile with their time; people who are just willing to live off the generosity and hard work of others, be it friends, family or the state. Paul is clear that we are not to be these kinds of people, but need us to be willing to get out there and put our hands to something, whatever that might be. Laziness is not an option for us as Christians, but rather we need to make the most of the strength that God has given us to do something with our lives. It's in part what we were created for, and there is something inherently good about us giving ourselves to working with our hands, and something extremely satisfying about what we can achieve when we do.
The question comes then, does this have to be paid work that we put our hands to or can it be something else? Obviously the normal thing is for someone to have a paid job - that is simply how a society must function, but it would seem that there is nothing in the Bible that says we must always be bringing in a wage to be faithful workers in whatever field in which God may place us.
I would encourage you not to be negative about this season in your life, however long it may last, but to be excited about the possibility of what God might place into your hands.
It could be that God has some voluntary work for you to do, maybe some particularly needy people to serve with the free time you now have. If you are part of a local church (which we hope you are), then they may have numerous ways in which you can give your time for the good of others. It could even be, that should none of these options be available to you for whatever reason, that God wants you to simply spend some time with Him, studying the Word and being refreshed in your relationship with Him, so that you are ready for the next season in your life.
This leads us very clearly onto the second issue you have raised in your question: 'Am I heading on the right path?' This is obviously a huge question for you at this time, as for all of us in so many area of our lives. There may well be a whole variety of different options that are put before you as you move forward, some of which you know already, and some that will come later. It's obvious you can't do everything, and so need real wisdom to know which of the roads to take. This is ultimately a question of God's guidance, and while there is no hard and fast formula to follow, there are certainly principles by which God guides us - here are just a few of the main ones:
- 1. Word centred - the first place we must always come when looking for guidance from God is to His Word. The Bible is the primary place where God's will for us as His people is revealed, and so the first test we must run any life decision by is whether it lines up with how God has told us He wants us to live. Simply, if something we are considering doing is contradicted by the Word of God then we stop considering it, and move on to something else. If what we're considering doesn't contradict God's Word, or better still is commended by it then we are free to go ahead and consider it as a viable option for us.
- 2. Prayer - there is absolutely no doubt that for every decision make in our lives, there should be plenty of prayer going into them. What we shouldn't do is just pray to relieve our consciences and then simply do what we think is best. We should expect God to answer our prayers and direct us the way we should go. How He chooses to do this is completely up to Him, but we need to be ready to hear when God might speak to us. As the good shepherd, Jesus is more than able to help us to hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27).
- 3. Counsel - it is also vital for us when we are making big decisions to make sure we are getting good counsel from mature Christians who can help us process the decisions we are making in a wise way. We should never go alone as we can be so easily be deceived in places where others would be able to point out the problems quite easily.
- 4. Circumstances - Knowing that we have a God who is in charge of all the circumstances in our lives gives us great confidence when certain doors open or close, or when seeming coincidences happen to push us in a certain direction. It can sometimes be a disappointment when an option we were considering suddenly is taken from us, but we can be confident that God is behind that decision. Alternatively, when a door is wide open in front of us, unless there are any glaring warning signs, it may be that it is exactly the direction God wants us to move into.
- 5. Peace - we have to be careful here because it is so subjective. God doesn't always call us to do things that we really want to do. In fact some things He may call us into may be very daunting for us, and so make us nervous at the thought of them. This could then be perceived as a lack of peace when it's just our own doubts kicking in. However there is still the reality that God can give us a supernatural peace, or an unexplainable lack of peace about a certain direction which, when recognised, can be a huge indicator whether we are on right track.
As you look to the future and what God might have you do remember that, apart from the Word of God, these are all just principles that can help us along the way, and may be present in differing measures in different situations. The worst thing we can do is sit around until everything in all the above points come together perfectly as we'd want.
There's a real danger we could become comfortable in our inactivity, so sometimes the best thing we do is just get out there and do something for God - remember He's more than able to close off any road you might try and go down, and lead you of in a different direction.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Colossians 3:17, 23-24
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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