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Discouraged Workers, Unemployment, and Faith

In April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate stood at 8.9%.

Among the states, Michigan currently stands at 12.9%, still leading the nation’s unemployment rate for 28 consecutive months. Neither number reflects “discouraged workers” who according to the Bureau of Labor are not looking for work because they believe there are no jobs available for them.

Yesterday, one member of this blog wrote, “From someone who has been there…I hope you folks understand just how serious unemployment and underemployment really is. When the rent is due then the rent is due.I so wish the “church” could really get a handle on this.”

So want to open the door for some honest talk on this. From those “who have been/or are there”  what is the personal impact of unemployment (or underemployment). What is it doing to you, your family, your faith?

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36 Responses to “Discouraged Workers, Unemployment, and Faith”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    My heart goes out to any person who has lost their employment. It is a scary place to find yourself. But do not dispair.

    It helps if you are a skilled worker, such as a plumber,electrician,carpenter, ect. Most unemployment offices can help in getting a person retrained or schooled.

    The thing is to go looking for whatever you can do as soon as you get the pink slip. Don’t wait until the unemployment benifits run out to look for work. Or to get retrained.

    God is faithful to meet your needs, but the pathway may not be easy to endure.

    As many already know my story here on the blog, I will only say that after having to quit working and take care of a wife dieing of cancer and a brain injured 21 year old son, God made a way to provide for all our needs. Even to the extend that our abundance over flows to others.

    Hold on to your faith, God may make many changes in your life but he will not leave you nor abandon you.


  2. siesand says:

    My husband owned a garment industry related business. If you look at the tags in your clothing that you have bought recently, you will understand what happened to that. We had never gone in debt except to start the business and it was paid off. We could live pretty cheaply, but we had four children to provide for. I was homeschooling them and we didn’t want to quit that for me to go to work. During the prosperous times we saved some money, so that helped. My husband fixed sewing machines with his dad to keep him company during his dad’s sickness. When his dad died, my husband continued the sewing machine repair business. Not much money in that, but at least it was some. My mother-in-law was going to need some help to stay in her home, so the family agreed she could pay my husband some to look after her. That helped. One of the years during that time, I wrote down all that I felt God had a hand in providing. Here are some of the items. My mother sent food home. My brother-in-law gave us food. Our beans in the garden produced abundantly. Someone gave us a bucket of potatoes. Our daughter needed a dress to be at the guest book in a wedding. We found a beautiful one on sale for $10. I found that through a local library, my son could take a free online Spanish course that privately would have cost $300. We are hunters and had not gotten many deer for years, but that year we got three. My mother gave us her free grocery store turkey. We didn’t live as prosperous as before, but we had plenty. Seeing how God provided during that time built up our faith.

  3. bubbles143jc says:

    It is so amazing how our God operates. I met Jesus on Easter Sunday, 1993. We’ve been together ever since:) I’m now 60!__!

    It was June of 1992, my back hurt so bad I couldn’t work, my emplore was upgrading and of the 425 employees, they were going to only need maybe, 100. I’d hurt my back while I was in the Army so I went to a VA clinic and they told me not to worry that since I didn’t have any children I could live in a shelter.

    I convinced myself of euthenasia but, God had another plan for me because at meeting Jesus I gave Him my life and He’s been taking care of it since then – I believed, my faith was unwaving. He said it, I took it and that is that.

    Nothing is easy because the devil roams around seeing who he can devour but, even though it’s not easy it is not as bad as it is for that person who is alone, who doesn’t have God. So, pray for those who are lost so they can at least have the peace that God gives us – in our trials and tribulations, He IS with us.

    I never went to a shelter and today I own a beautiful new home which is Jesus’ home.

    God bless.

  4. drdedward says:

    My wife and I resigned from our jobs in Florida and moved to Georgia to take care of her parents that are in their 80’s. That was a little over a year ago.

    Feeling the pressure, I took a job in the same industry at about a third of what I had made in Florida. I was miserable for over a year and I count it as a blessing that I was laid off two weeks ago.

    It has been interesting during the last year to watch how the Lord works. As I was preparing to get licensed to drive the church bus, God turned it into a second job driving a school bus for the county. Along with this came health insurance that was badly needed for my wife. It also gives us a small income year round.

    We are learning to live on a little less than a third of our former income and times are tough without the income from my main job. But, we trust in the Lord that he will work it out and will provide for our needs. He is always there and is always faithful

  5. poohpity says:

    I receive $694 a month, I am unable to walk or work. I have one son home for summer break and works part time. I have another son who is looking for work and helps me and my mother who has terminal cancer he runs our errands and helps me around the house. I said I receive $694 a month from disability but every once in a while I receive a gift from someone to make it through the month this month someone on this site sent me a much needed gift from the Lord so we could make it through this month. I have chosen not to get food stamps but I may change that. We ALWAYS have every thing we need and enough to share. We have a apartment which I get a rent subsidy which helps a lot.

    After going to Africa and seeing what they live off of and go without, I came home grateful for toilet paper, go figure. We have so very much here.

    I am discouraged every month and wonder how I am going to provide but we always make it. Maybe one day I will learn not to worry. My youngest always says, “Mom, God always provides” and my reply is “GO GET A JOB”. So it is a battle we do not have some of the best food in the world but we are not hungry. It is amazing what one can do without and I am sooo very grateful for the help of others who listen to the call of the Lord.

  6. paulruppert says:

    To comment on this not from experience, but from a hope and prayer not for the country as a whole, but individual by individual. I watched my dad when he was laid off and how he reacted. His actions were of that of a Christian man who had a family to support and watched as he went and got the schooling for the jobs that were available; he did this without government help or money. I think it is time for all Americans to realize that dependence in the Lord first then work at it until the blessing comes. It may not be the job you always dreamed of but it is work. My dad well he worked 20 more years before retiring. Me, when unemployed I kept at it until the blessing came. You sit on your but, the Bible is telling you not to. Yes times are hard and what should have been done wasn’t. It is control of imports, fair share and an honest government none of which we have had ever. I will pray for those out of work, I will praise those who bust but getting employed, the other, well I will pray for them also, that they will see what God says.

  7. pegramsdell says:

    Pooh, I’ll be praying for you and your household. Please let me know how to give to the “Pooh” ministry. I would really like to do that. :)

    Also….wanted to share, that many times in the past I have been broke (almost every other week), but God always comes through for me. I don’t know why or how, but He always provides for me. Thank You Jesus!

    I remember having only $20.00 for the whole week to feed my 4 kids, and I went to the store and bought food and somehow…….(don’t know how)….I got a full brown paper bag full of food and a few dollars change back. We had enough food for the whole week.

  8. rokdude5 says:

    There was a community-wide yard sale this past weekend where I live. Its almost comical to see all the “I gotta have” only to end up as “junk” (BTW, Im no better.) A lot of the local churches participated whereby their respective members donated their “junk” to help raise $ but Im wondering if that perhaps we should donate not “leftovers” but “first fruits.” In other words, we should donate brand new items to sell.

    This reminds me about the harlot(?) who annointed Jesus with an oil that amounted to a year’s wages. I think I would have also rebuked her for not selling it and helping those in need but Jesus blessed her. Jesus also just about guaranteed that we always have the poor. He also wanted the disciples (and us) to understand that material things are worthless in light of the preciousness of one another (which may explain why we will always have the poor.)

    One of the elders of the church I attend lost his job slightly less than a year ago. Typically he is the one who opens the church service with lighthearted stories and jokes. By God’s grace his wife maintained her job so he became a “house-husband” yet make light of his “domestically challenged” skills.

    I wondered if God was using him to help others who were attending this church to show them that He still cares and uphold those who are in need. I do have to admit that this elder was wise in his finances as he had already saved about 6 months of wages before his layoff though he did “lament” about going through a “Starbuck withdrawal.”

    I personally was able to find a job just once a week then it went to twice a week then four times a week then all of sudden – nothing. I did tithe through all that which makes me feel quite blessed. Just recently my employer asked me to come back just once a week. Praise God!

    Im praying that during and especially after this tribulation period that this country become wiser and stronger in dealing with our finances yet learn to be more dependent on God for “our daily bread” and be more caring for one another.

  9. poohpity says:

    Thank you pegramsdell for the thought it means a lot to me. I am sure that there are folks close to you who could benefit from the help. My heart is so touched by your concern, thank you so much. Love Deb

  10. OGramps says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I offer my prayers for all who for no fault of their own find themselves out of work. I have been there many times. It is a pretty scary thing.

    I would like to share my experience in hopes that someone might benefit from it, particularly young people.

    As a young man in the 60’s I had very little appreciation for school. It was more important to me to party and run with friends. I just couldn’t see the value in it. I quit high school and joined the Army. What a rude awakening! After the service jobs were pretty easy for me to find, only they were manual labor that didn’t pay well. I found and lost alot of them.

    Years passed and God blessed me with a wife and family and a job delivering furniture. Only I could barely keep from getting fired at it. It was then I met Jesus. Things changed. my attitude really changed. That’s when I really messed up my back.

    I couldn’t work that job or any manual work any longer, so at 30 I went back in school to finish high school and get some college training. God blessed us greatly. It wasn’t easy. My wife worked 5 cleaning jobs to keep us going financially. I, not being the brighest bulb in the batch, had to spend long hours at school. Both my wife and I held on the thought given to us that God didn’t bring us this far to dump us. We persevered its all that we could do.

    Since that time God has blessed me with steady employment. He has always been faithful to lead us to higher and higher ground. So whenever I get a chance to talk to share my story with young people I give them this advice.

    First, and most emportantly seek God with all of your energy. He will prove to be the only constant in an ever changing world.

    Second, the old days of working one job for life are rapidly going away. You must be flexible and ready to change careers as the market changes.

    Third, always keep yourself marketable. As you gain employment, look around and see what new skills are being taught and then work on learning them too.

    God bless All,

  11. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    I always think of Corrie ten Boom when we discuss trust. For me money is at base a trust issue and I have prayed many times for God to give me trust like Corrie’s sister had. Her faith that God would make a way when it had to appear as to be no way. My heart goes out to all those hurting from unemployment I pray for work to be found but mostly I pray their circumstance will deepen their faith and enable them to know God will make a way. I have known deep poverty so please don’t think that I speak these word’s lightly as it is hard to have faith when day’s are dark and discouragement is high. It is in the going through the rough times that God has taught me to trust and my prayer is for all of us to have a working faith. Abraham faith.

  12. pegramsdell says:

    My son Chris is unemployed right now. Been out of work for several months. He is a hard worker and very committed. I am praying that God will bless him with a good job. I am trying to trust in God’s abilities, not man’s. Or the world economy, because some companies are being blessed even though some are going under.

    I am very thankful that my employers pray and encourage faith in their business, and I know they will continue to go strong.

  13. HEY REV says:

    Yes I for one can remember how God had blessed yet never knowing how He did it.My company honored a picket line of another department so the whole company shut down.I looked for anything and got a job at $2.50 an hour. A wife and four children, but I wasn’t going to sit around waiting. While I worked that job a man I knew came to my door and offered me a job, but said he couldn’t pay very much, ONLY $5.00 an hour.
    WOW double, so I took it. Worked the first job on Saturdays and from Mon thru Fri the second job. Put together that was $7.50 an hour.We had every red notice to shut off utillities, but none ever got shut off. Sent them a little as we could.
    There is much more I can share, but like my brother Paul I’ll try and not boast about my sufferings but God’s faithfulness. Besides those testimonies above me are not anything I would want to go thru. I know that in ourselves we could not have done it. Wow many of them are soooo heavy hearted.Many of my family are going through their setbacks also and we’re trying to be there for them.
    Mart: what is your understanding now at this time if our church’s were asked to follow Acts chapter two (2) verses 44 to the end. Yes I know the next chapter Peter & John had no money to give out, but they had the NAME, the same NAME we have.Thats what I give my family the WORD(and other things when we can).
    My wonderful wife and I had a saying we stuck with all our married life, (now 49 yrs) IF WE GO UP IN LIFE OR WE GO DOWN WE GO TOGETHER.Thats what we vowed before God, the minister and those present.Were there time in our marriage for posible divorce, sure. Bur remember: we go up together, we go down together, but we STAY TOGETHER.
    With that understanding we knew God was doing that with us. When things are good God is there and still there when not.
    I do not know at this time what my future holds, but I know WHO holds my future.
    All of my Sister’s and Brothers who wrote in can give something to the rest of us, and that’s prayer. James 5:13-16 tells to share with one another as we are doing right now and than pray for each other. The rest is up to God. We do our part God does His. I’ve seen that so very, very many times in my walk with my Savior.
    Man asked an Evangelist that when he prays for people to get well and they don’t, his statement was, “bring one the next one. I’ll pray for that one. The next question thinking that he had him asked what if they die? “Bring on the next one I’ll pray for him also, even if he die’s.”
    The Evangelist finished by saying “I don’t heal them, save them, or bring them back to life. I ONLY PRAY FOR THEM, THE REST IS UP TO GOD. I never forgot that and it must be 25-30 years ago.
    So let us pray:
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL (from my heart to yours) and listen Mart this naturally is for you and all there at R.B.C

  14. Loretta Beavis says:

    About 1999 I started working two full-time, low-pay jobs, one part-time low pay job and boarded horses at home for more money.

    I was alone, and very scared. I didn’t want to loose my house, had no family or friends to help…one of the tougher times of my life.

    I finally got into an unpaid, union apprenticeship school…lots of other problems were happening too. I kept going to worship..I quit one full time job so I could apprentice more.

    It came to pass, my money was out, part-time jobs gone, car failing, all the stuff life stories are made of. I decided to just go home after church one day and wait… $20.00 in checking account, church gave me groceries…one of the quietest times and I think, most faithful times of my life…just waiting on God…

    I got a call and got sent out on a job (equipment operator). Paid by the week, just enough gas for one week…the pay was really good and the job lasted 3 years.
    God is good.

    I need a job, again, for different reasons now, and I’m not qualified for anything. Jobs cost more than they pay and most are three jobs in one!

    I’m having trouble with the waiting on God part…my faith is weak these days.

    I’m thinking a lot about Luke 8:22-25 when the boat is filling with water, Jesus asleep and the disciples “flipping out” ’cause they think they’re gonna drown and their Master doesn’t care.

    Jesus stopped the wind, water and there was calm. He asked them where their faith was? I’m wondering what’s wrong with mine…

  15. daisymarygoldr says:

    Employment, unemployment or underemployment… nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Job loss? “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances…

    Personally, I never worry about these things… “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” or how will we pay for the house? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers…our Heavenly Father already knows all our needs. If we seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, He always gives us everything we need.

    From someone who has been there…not once but more than once… and did just that and will always do that!

  16. wretch-like-me says:

    Financial struggles have always seemed a part of my life before I released it at the foot of the cross.

    My wife and I married in the summer of our freshman year in college after meeting in a squaredance class earlier that year. We worked summer jobs, took student loans, and worked parttime during the school year. Despite having our first child within a year, we graduated on time and beat the odds of dropping out.

    I remember at one point a financial aid representative quietly remarked, “If you were not married; just living together with a child, I could pay your way thru school and give you support for room and board… but, since you did the right thing, I can’t help you!”

    Following college I entered the military as an enlisted man making less than minimum wage and at one point we were less than $8 away from qualifying for foodstamps.

    I left the military after two tours searching for a way to better provide for my family without having to risk life and limb or be separated for months/yrs at a time. After completing another year in college on the GI Bill earned a teaching certificate and was without work for 18 months searching for a teaching job. Gave in the temptation to take any work despite the cost and spent the next 2yrs on the road 5 days a week and losing touch with my wife and kids.

    In desperation, I fell to my knees and surrendered to God my trust for His Providence. I returned home stepping out in faith that He would provide.

    AND HE HAS!!!

    Granted, I had to be willing to accept what HE provided despite education, training, skills or position(pride).

    Not only has God provided; He has blessed us with enough to pay off our home and retire in relative comfort. He has also provided opportunity for travel and witness to our extended families.


  17. Mart De Haan says:

    hey rev, Am not sure how to answer the present application of Acts 2:44-47. The situation of selling all, sharing in common, and distributing to one another as there was need seems to have been temporarily practiced by the early church following its miraculous birth at Pentecost.

    Yet the principle of caring for one another more than things is timeless.

    Here’s how The Bible Knowledge commentary handles that text: “The selling of property and the common possession of the proceeds may imply that the early church expected the Lord to return soon and establish His kingdom. This may explain why the practice was not continued. Holding everything in common was not socialism or communism because it was voluntary (cf. 4:32, 34-35; 5:4). Also their goods were not evenly distributed but were given to meet needs as they arose.”

    In the blog member’s comment that I mentioned in the post, I did wonder what was meant by the comment, expectation, or hope, “wish the “church” could really get a handle on this.”

  18. mtman says:

    Isn’t this what the hippies of the 70’s pretty much did? Live in communes with all their free love. Then there have been the more recent communes in Waco and the others that have been broken up. Seems to me that communal living has been perverted and exploited. Wasn’t that a commune that Jim Jones had?
    I don’t know that I agree with the bible commentary because that is speculation. Isn’t it better that we live in a Christian community and reach out to each other? What about the Amish? Isn’t that more of a Christian community within a community. Seems to work for them.

  19. pegramsdell says:

    I had heard of a church that gave it’s tithing to all of it’s congregation that day. What a blessing. :)

  20. pappy58 says:

    Mart. Thank you for this opportunity. My situation is somewhat different than most. I am out of work because I had a choice. Please let me explain.

    I was very blessed to land a job at the US Postal Service in 1988, just at the tail end of a recession. Before that, I served in the US Air Force for six years. I worked for nearly nothing for five years prior to this, in a job that was based on public service. At that time I was very proud to work for the USPS, because they were so customer focused. At least, at that time.

    My happiness from my job dwindled down after a while. Around five years ago, I realized that the direction of the Postal Service was no longer concerned about the customer, but the big business mailers. They were literally closing down the smaller offices and eliminated many customer service jobs. The customers were becoming less and less important to the revenue of the Postal Service. Then automation took over. Changes were constantly being made and management was more and more self absorbed. More and more problems were created because they had no fallback system on what happens if the machines fail. Believe me, they failed a great deal. Their attitude was it would always work. No one had any backbone to stand up to incompetence and demand accountability.

    At that time we were losing all our competent supervisors and gaining overpaid mindless “puppets.” And very few even knew what integrity was. I held a position for two years that involved responsibility but no accountability, and I had to deal everyday with customers, imbecilic supervisors, and malcontent employees. As a Christian, I prayed on a regular basis for God to give me a truly professional, Christian attitude laced with integrity and respect for others. I established a good reputation, but I think that the Lord was leading me in another direction. Things really started happening to completely change my attitude.

    The first was when I decided to finally attend nursing school at Grand Rapids Community College. So I paid my own tuition to sign up for classes. I thought it would be easy to attend; all I needed was a temporary schedule change to work on another ‘tour” which happened all the time. To my complete surprise, my tour boss denied my request. Then I fully explained that I already paid for the classes and I supported this by giving him a letter of acceptance from the nursing director. He still refused. I wrote a letter to the Managing Director of operations. I told her the same thing and added that I would lose $800.00 out of my own pocket. I also said I waited for six years to get accepted into this nursing school. This was also denied with a totally stupid explanation I might add. They knew I paid it myself, and they knew that I waited for so long to finally get accepted, and they did not care. I had a spotless record and a good reputation with management, and this is how I get paid back.

    The next incident was when I got called out as a volunteer for the American Red Cross Disaster Team to help out in Indiana when that state was hammered with floods. I contacted them right away to account for my absence. It was my very first deployment as a volunteer and naively I believed that employers automatically accepted that and would be willing to work with you. In spite of my efforts to contact them they wrote me up and threatened to discipline me. I was providing a public service for disaster victims, and that is why I was being disciplined.

    On top of everything else I was shorted two weeks pay and it took me six weeks to finally get it resolved. This put us in financial jeopardy for about six months. This was the last straw for me. I got to the point where I no longer cared about my job. The Postal Service was 2 billion dollars in the hole and offered early retirements for people 50 years old and older with 20 years or more. They offered this without a penalty. We only had one chance and we had to decide in three months. I thought seriously about this, and we prayed about it. Finally, I could no longer deal with this, so I took the offer. I retired under Voluntary Early Retirement Authority on December 31, 2008.

    Management became worse and worse and I was convinced that they no longer cared about others. It was so easy to “fix” things and they not only did not try, but chose to prevent others from doing it. I bailed when I felt that both my body and my brain would lose their function. I got so fed up with the lack of honor and integrity that I just gave up and drew my last paycheck. I could have stayed for another five to fifteen years with a much more comfortable retirement. Federal retirement can be quite lucrative. At that point, however, I no longer cared. The strangest thing is after I decided to take the VERA, I never had second thoughts.

    The USPS screwed up my retirement so bad that it was two months late. I did not receive my first full annuity check from the Office of Personnel Management until May 1, 2009. Although I received some interim checks, I was practically without income until that time. Since that time I have somehow managed to nearly double in child-support payments At the writing of this letter we have been forced to the point of bankruptcy. This is something that we tried our best to avoid. Tried several options including Christian financial counseling. Nothing worked. The stench of filing bankruptcy reeks in my nostrils, I despise the thought of it. But at this point we have no other choice.

    In spite of it all, I know that my reasons for retiring were just and noble. I made a vow to myself, to her and to God that if I ever worked again it would be only to serve others in an unselfish way, and be the kind of person that He would want me to be. I would never return to an unscrupulous organization again at any cost. I am beginning to feel like Job. Even my wife is starting to doubt me and lose faith. At this point I am beginning to wonder if I have any faith left myself. I am praying and fellowshipping with God on a daily basis. If I knew that He was smiling down on me at this moment, I would be willing to experience it again.

    My question to you sir, is this. Am I really doing the right thing? How do I know this? If I am, then why is the Lord making it so hard for me to serve Him? I mean, He said we would never be given more problems than we can handle, and I feel we are to that point by now. I am not asking for charity, and I am not endulging in self pity. But, I have documented the financial hardships that we have faced for the last six months. I am convinced for every Christian deed I do, we suffer in this area. EVERY time we get financial relief in some sort of way, we get financial burdens 3x that amount. Yet, the Word of God tells me to keep working for Him and that is what I strive to do.

    There is much more to this than I can put in words. I have a history of problems that would take up much more space here. Please forgive me for being so blunt, and for such a long letter. Thank you so much for taking the time for me.

    In faith,

  21. mtman says:

    Tim: As I read your story it was reminiscent of my own. I spent 8 years in the USAF, and retired early at age 56. We struggled for several years too. I did not regret early retirement and felt I was also doing the proper thing at the time.
    What it brought to mind was the doubts I had that are similar and equal to yours at present. Let me tell you my story and hopefully it will help you.
    I was out of work at the time and had serious financial problems. I took a job that was much lower than what I had left but it was to serve people. It paid equal. We had bought a new home 5 hours drive away and we were still paying on our present home. Dual house payments. I would come home on weekends and as I left on Monday mornings for the new job I would go to a men’s worship at our small church. As I was sitting there one morning waiting for the other men I was kneeling and praying hard. Asking God how he could let us get in a fix like this where we were going to lose at least one house. I was also afraid our family was going to break up. Ha, like it was God’s fault. Regardless of how long I live I will never forget a detail of what happened next. I heard a deep voice speak to me and say “I have never failed you before, I will not fail you now”. That is an exact quote. At first I thought I was praying out loud and someone came in and was pranking me.
    I got down on my belly and looked for feet in another pew and there were none. I checked the entire sanctuary out and no one was there. I went into where the priest prepares himself and he was just doing normal activity and had not come out into the church area yet. I went back and got down on my knees asking for forgiveness and giving earnest thanks. I never gave it one more doubt. What happened would happen – it was in His hands and I trusted Him. Or at least after I checked out that I was alone I did!!!
    After service I left and drove the 5 hours to the new job. Walked in and the answer machine was blinking. Our home had been on the market for months up to that point and no interest in at least two months. Most offers were less than what we paid for the house initially.
    I called my wife and she said while I was en route to the new job an offer came in for what we were asking for and they wanted to close ASAP.
    Some may call that coincidence but I heard that voice and there was no doubt where it came from and what the message was. I still questioned it however because I just could not fathom our God talking to me. He did however and even then I had my doubts.
    So, my advice to you is stay in prayer, know that our Lord and God loves you and will in his time use this situation you are in for his Glory. I have not shared this story before but I think you need to hear it now. Have faith, talk to God, don’t be afraid to pour out your heart to him and then wait for his timing. He is always faithful and invariable He has the capacity and love for us that we generally are surprised at the result. I have sat on that story for 30+ years but your story and other stories and an inner urging tell me now is the time to share. God Bless and trust him he will not fail you, I know!!

  22. poohpity says:

    We are given the example of the disciples having little faith even when they walked and talked with the Lord because God knew we would have times like that ourselves. It is not wrong it is human and the Lord understands because we are told all things are common to man. We are given each other to say we understand because we have been there. When we say we never have doubts watch out because you will be proven wrong.

    I believe it is good to list what are needs and what are wants and you will be amazed at the difference. Jesus never told us that everything in life would be easy but that there will be trails and tribulation but be of good cheer because He overcame the world.

    In these times of difficulty which are way better than other countries have it we can gather together and lean on each other for strength when our faith is weak and seek God together for comfort. Having or not having is not a sign of being blessed or not being blessed, being blessed is knowing that our lives rest in the hands of the Lord and trusting His heart for our care. Being blessed is sharing our struggles with each other and being an encouragement to those whose faith may be weak and they are feeling troubled. Walking beside the Lord and each other is a true blessing not feeling ourselves better or worse than anyone else but equal in this journey of life.

  23. wretch-like-me says:

    I, too, want to encourage you to persevere in trusting God despite the ‘torture’ of continued financial problems and self-doubt.
    I applaud your faith and pray for your strength to continue.
    Remember and be encouraged by the words of Joshua many years ago.
    “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

    Remember my brother, we are not of this world… Jesus warned that we would be persecuted for choosing to follow HIM… Some of us will be blessed with prosperity; others will not.

    Our true home is in heaven and I firmly believe those who suffer without reward in this world will receive treasures beyond measure in the next.

    God Will Bless You!!!

  24. saled says:

    I hope this story will encourage people who are struggling. It was part of a sermon given about 15 years ago, and I remember it like yesterday. The scripture used was “All things work together for good for those who believe . . .”
    The preacher had once been a missionary to an island in Indonesia. While there, he and his wife lost one of their young children, and he slept on the grave for many nights to keep the body from being canibalized. He asked himself if it was good, and he said no, it was not. Later, one of his children became severely handicapped, and it consumed all of his and his wife’s energy. He asked himself it it was good, and it was not. His wife then suffered a breakdown, and he had to leave the ministry where he served, and he asked himself if it was good, and again he had to admit that it was not. But through these trials, God blessed him with Himself.

    All that happens to us is not good. but God is. There is an old testament verse that says, “You have made me glad, more than when the wine and the grain increased.”

  25. wretch-like-me says:

    My thoughts about churches being involved with those who are experiencing financial challenge has not changed due to the present economic ‘crisis’.

    We are to pray before acting, listen for HIS leading, wisely discern ‘guiding spirits’ by cross referencing with scriptural precedence, and follow-thru with christian love.

    This does not cause us to help everyone in the same way. Some may require education to prevent further poor choices that result in financial chaos. Others may be victims of forces beyond their control.

    Our little church in rural America was begun more than 100 years ago. We, like our community, have never known financial bliss. Our area has beautiful scenery; lakes, mountains, timber, wildlife; but, little industry.

    Two/thirds of the county is federally owned timberland. Great for beauty; poor as a tax-base. The majority of our workforce is connected to the timber industry and has been for 100 years. We have experienced double-digit unemployment percentages most of the 30 years I have lived here.

    I read somewhere that ‘poor people are some of the best givers’ (ie. the widow’s mite). I have found that to be true, here. Was is not Peter who said, “Gold and Silver I have none; but, what I have I give you, In The Name of Jesus Christ!”

    Being challenged financially, is nothing new to us and I believe it is a blessing. Just as the butterfly needs the stress of squeezing itself out of a tiny whole in its cocoon in order to inflate its wings and be prepared for life. We have been prepared by continued stress financially to prepare us for service during this time.

    All across America, communities (churches) must pull together to offer support (however called by God) to members and neighbors. It is our greatest opportunity to do so in love and NAME THE NAME THAT MAKES IT SO!!!

    thanks, Marti

  26. Keith Allison says:

    We too have felt the pains of this economy. In January 2008 we lost our home, farm, and business. Needless to say we were overwhelmed and for months we were paralyzed by our circumstances. We have ten children and had to depend on our older children to help with the household expenses. This was humbling to me and I could not understand how God could let this happen. Together we came up with a plan and begun to move forward. Our challenges are far from being over, but these challenges have strengthened our family and brought us closer together. I kept a journal of our challenges which helped me to get things off my chest and not become bitter. I believe that the first step to dealing with trauma such as financial loss is to get it off your chest. If you have someone to talk to who can refrain from giving advise, go for it. If not, you might try writing it down.


  27. HEY REV says:

    Sometimes I feel pushed into these blogs because I don’t want to take many words to express myself, and to give others who maybe need that space I would have taken.
    See what I mean I doing that very thing now. SORRY.
    Now let me shar with you what I meant about churchs helping in and at those critical times. A woman at the church served as the Secretary to the Pastor. I stopped there one morning to do a project, and while conversing with her she told me they lost their home. I was appauled. Why haven’t we heard about this. Why didn’t the Pastor share with the congregation (and not sharing any names) that a special collection was necessary to help a family.
    This particular church was finanancially set to do it all on it’s own, but it would have been a wonderful teaching for all of us.They did lose their home and fell into deeper financial troubles.
    That’s what I meant about helping as in Acts. I know each case has it’s own merit.
    I’m talking about those times when churchs can do SOMETHING but do nothing. This same church didn’t lift a finger when a person in the church needed some special shot to help him maybe live a litle longer and with a minimum amount of pain. The Pastor himself could have written it out of his own pocket let alone the church.
    To put this into the right perspective Mart let me use “wretch-like-me situation.” He was right–on when saying “IF THE CHURCH CAN” Thats what I mean there are churchs out there right now “WHO CAN BUT DON’T”
    Your right about the situation in Acts 2 they knew who, how, when,and where to help. We’re not doing that now (in the church) Pastors are just as fearful as their people out in front of them. I’ve been in, visited many, and heard from other of my Pastor friends (and even heard them “CONFESS” they are fearful into my ears) If I lose my church what else can I do. (Luke 16 Shrewd manager)Remember when they preach to them they will always be Preaching to themselves also.
    In my first blog at the bottom I prayed for all of those who took the time to share with us so that we can bring all of them before our LOrd. For those who can make a copy of these requests and take them with you into your prayer closet (as I will do the same)and all I can do is what we know in our hearts to do and that is “TO TRUST HIM, WHO KNOWS ALL THINGS”
    The testimonies of “wretch-like-me-Pappy58
    and Saled just gives me the shivers. It truly touches me how so many can take sooo much for sooo long and not go bonkers. I would never want to trade with none of you.
    Remember: NO SHOES—NO FEET teaching.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    In reading the comments this morning, I am compeled to repeat some of “my” story for thoes who have not read it.

    In the Summer of 1999 my 21 year old son wrecked his car and spent the next 23 days in intensive care. The doctors gave him no chance at surviving or ever waking from the coma he was in.

    In October of 1999 his mother, my wife of 30 years discovered she had cancer.

    I had to quit working and stay at home to take care of my family. During the next several months our financial situation become very grave as did Rita’s health.

    Our local churches held fund raisers and took up special collections for our benifit. Their efforts saved us from ruin and carried us through until Social Secruity could come into play.

    We weren’t as desperate as some others, because of planning and decisions made early in life. But during this dark period in our lives the church certainly came to our rescue.


  29. cherielyn says:

    My only daughter worked for a major company for 15 years. It has divisions all over the US (& perhaps in some foreign countries). Last August her division was closed. She had the option of a severance package or transferring to another division in another state. She chose the severance package because she had been attending evening classes in a Bible school for two years and did not want to quit mid-stream. The school happens to be next to her apartment, so she does not have the expense of travel to get there. I know I shouldn’t, but I find myself amazed at my daughter’s COMPLETE reliance on the Lord. She is a prime example of trusting, TOTALLY, in God. Yes, she gets unemployment and has backup finances from the severance package, but the backup $ is paying for her tuition. In addition to her evening Bible school classes, she is taking daytime online courses to train for another career.

    Fortunately she can do all this because she has no other family responsibilities. That is about to change. She was on a missions trip to Brazil three summers ago. Near the end of the trip she met a man who was involved in the ministry of the church they had come down to assist. They began communicating – first by email, then by phone. She returned to Brazil last summer to get to know him & his family better and came home engaged. Right after arriving home is when her employment ended.

    Her fiance’s visa process started last fall. It was approved in March and he arrived in the U.S. two weeks ago. According to regulations they must be married within 90 days of his stepping foot on U.S. soil. Their wedding will be on July 11th. Hubby & I would have liked to help contribute to the wedding expenses, but due to my unexpected surgery in February and no health insurance, living on a fixed income & little savings, we just get by.

    Our daughter’s fiance’s English is coming along fairly well, but being new here and jobs scarce he probably will have difficulty finding employment. He is a very dedicated Christian. Like my daughter, he is trusting God to provide for their needs – a trust that I have found lacking in many Christians who have walked with the Lord for years.

    Throughout our lives, when circumstances seemed at their darkest, the Lord always came through for us. He is an amazing God!

  30. cherielyn says:

    I posted my comment before reading most of the other comments.

    I am praying for each of you who are going through difficulties. Yes, times are tough, but we have an amazing God who cares about each of us, individually. Trusting and praying that He will make a way for each one of you as you deal with life’s daily struggles.

    Mtman, I can identify with the experience you “sat on” for 30+ years. A few weeks ago I shared a similar experience that I also “sat on” for just about as long as you have. I feared sharing it because I believed that it would be dismissed as a figment of my imagination because “they” say: “God does not speak, audibly, to people these days.” I did not want to be ridiculed for it.

  31. SFDBWV says:

    cherielyn,mtman, Be encouraged and blessed when God audibly speaks to you, and don’t fear ridicule.

    He has spoken to me, I, like all of HIS sheep know HIS voice and recognize HIM.

    I’ll say this about hearing God speak, HE gets all your attention and you don’t forget and you want more.


  32. poohpity says:

    I have also heard from the Lord. In 1994 while going to college, working and raising my sons, I was talking to my dad. I have wanted his approval for so long about finally doing everything right and all he had to say was, couldn’t you be working more hours”, needless to say I was crushed. I got into my van and was driving home sobbing and the Lord said to me ” I am proud of you” and this peace came over me and all I felt was joy. Even though I do not live a perfect life the Lord was proud of me, my Father was proud of me. I will never ever forget that. So yes the Lord does speak to us. At that specific time I really needed to hear that more than anything and you guys bringing that up made me remember His words again which I really needed to remember again at this time. Thank you!

  33. Mart De Haan says:

    I have mixed feelings about moving on. Thanks to all of you for telling something of your story and how you have seen the Lord meet your needs and reassure you. I hope many will continue to find your words posted here to be a source of encouragement for them as well.

  34. pappy58 says:

    Thank you, Wreth, Pooh, Mtman and all. I appreciate all your wisdom and kind words. Unfortunately, they will not pay for my rent, or my mobile home payment, or my disabled wife’s medical bills. They will make it easier for me to cope though.

    I do not believe I have ever heard God “speak” to me. I have gotten emotional at times just in thought or when I hear a particular song on the radio. Just yesterday, my wife and I were enroute to sign a lease on our new apartment. We can only rent because my credit is a mess from my divorce,whch, by the way, I tried my best to fight. Anyway, this old man was staring at the road that we were just pulling out of. The poor guy looked like he was lost, so I stopped right there and asked him what he was doing. He said he was looking for the bus stop. I told him that it was right across the street but it was a busy one so I would help him cross. So, I took him by the arm and we crossed together. He was walking with a cane and had a cast on his left arm like he had just returned from a hospital. Anyways, he thanked me and told me he lived in a place downtown where homeless people do. I told him to stay by the bus stop and stay close to the sign so he would not wander off.

    On the way to the apartment I spoke to my wife and then I realized, he probably did not have bus fare. As we were enroute, we spotted a shopping cart left close to the road with stuff in it. When I though where this man might go, a tear welled in my eyes. If this was his cart, he surely wandered a long way. Unfortunately we were running late for our appointment and could only do so much. So she called the police and they took care of the situation. The officer said that the man got safely on the bus and all was well.

    I could not clear my mind. I kept thinking that I should have taken the time to stop and wait with him for the bus, then pay his fare and watch him get seated. i mean if I was truly walking in fellowship with Him, wouldn’t I have thought about this sooner?
    Afterward, my wife asked me if I felt good about my good samaritan act. I jokingly remarked,”yes I do, but I wonder what else will go wrong in my life now that I did this thing?”

    Could this have been the voice of God? I don’t know. All I know is I will keep striving to be like Joshua and try my best to to what I believe the Lord wants me to do. I just wish He would make it much more clear to me. I’m so confused!

    Pooh. I have distinguished needs and wants. I never buy anything myself for myself because I am always preoccupied with helping other family members. Mostly when I pray I pray for others. For the very first time that I can remember, I waited in line a few weeks ago for food at a local church. It sure was embarrassing for me, but I did it. This was when we had not received a check of any kind in a month. The only reason I agreed to do it is because my wife is a Diabetic and she needed food. Anyways, she called me just before my number came up to receive the food and told me my check finally arrived. I walked up to the lady from the church, handed her my number, and told her to give this to someone with a higher number, because I do not need it anymore. Then I walked off.

    If God speaks to me directly, I believe it is in a language that I don’t understand.

  35. daisymarygoldr says:

    pappy58, you are a very kind and benevolent soul and God will certainly bless you for blessing others with the goodness of your heart. I am deeply touched with the confused cries of your heart and I know my words here on this blog may not be of much help to you… still with all the love of Christ and as someone who has been there before, I will urge you to keep trusting Him.

    pappy58, with all this worrying are you able to add even an inch to your height? Unless we experience troubles, we will have no experience of what it means to exercise our God-given faith… to simply trust God. Remember it is God who has created you, your wife and your children and it is He who cares for all of you…. not you or your job or your employer.

    If you are a Christian who believes in Christ… then your Christian journey is on the train called faith… and the engine driver is Christ. When the train goes through the tunnel of sickness, unemployment… and the world gets dark due to death or poverty, will you jump out? Of course not! You sit still and trust Christ even if you don’t understand His language or instructions… He perfectly knows the way and will certainly get you through. Praying for you…

  36. daisymarygoldr says:

    Steve/SFDBWV, thank you for sharing your story about the church helping and coming together to your rescue… it is inspiring! I do agree with what the others have pointed out… for the church to also meet the material needs of the flock…

    Back home the church modeled itself according to the early church… as we lived every day in expectation of the Lord to return soon. So there is constant giving and sharing. All those who have secular jobs know fully well that it is God who provides us with jobs… not that we earn to consume it for ourselves… not that we hoard it for our children or our children’s children… but God provides us with material resources so that we provide for our brothers and sisters in need… to help provide for those who leave their secular jobs in order to evangelize to the lost.

    It is a delight to see the church that I attend here also doing a lot to meet the financial burden of its needy members by giving… and even helping them find jobs. The previous church I attended before relocating also gave generously to its own in need… and shared in the burden of their single parents.

    This is exactly the meaning of fellowship… to demonstrate our faith/love in action. We must first meet the needs of our own brothers and sisters in Christ… i.e. those who belong to the household of faith. “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to their dogs.” Sorry, people… if this sounds offensive to you … but honestly speaking…if we cannot serve and meet the needs of our own fellow believers… how can we even think of helping unbelievers?

    Besides, in the end the King will tell the sheep in His right to enter into His kingdom because… they helped and met the needs of… not unbelievers of the world… but those who met the needs of their own brethren! Who is my neighbor that I am called to love? It is the blood-bought saint… my very own brother and sister in Christ!

    This does not mean that we should not seek to do good to unbelievers. The immediate church family is always the first priority. We must first care for our own household… to do good works of mercy and compassion. Our benevolence however, is not just limited to the children of the household… namely Christians… it first fulfills the needs of those within our household and then overflows beyond our boundaries to fulfill the needs of those who are in the world.

    It is unfortunate that sometimes in our zeal as good Samaritans we tend to do this the other way around… that is focus on feeding the unbelievers while our fellow-believers are left to feed on the scraps that fall off our tables. Just my thoughts…

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