How to Trust God in the Season of Job-hunting

I spent six months of my life as a couch potato.

By the time I started my new job, I knew which online channels you could surf for the latest television series. I had also become a regular fixture at my local pool’s swim squad and gym classes, and my favourite Japanese crime-thriller author could not get his books translated into English fast enough to keep up with my reading appetite.

It was a lifestyle I enjoyed for the first three months, having just resigned from a stressful job which had torn my confidence into shreds. But lifestyle of leisure was not a sustainable one, and I was soon running out of funds. My bank balance was running low, my bills were piling up, and I had just spent close to a thousand dollars on my car.

So, I did what most people in that situation would do: I started hunting for a job. And that began a long and painful process in which I was forced to rely on God.

It was not easy trusting God over the half year that followed. I spent countless hours submitting job applications, only to receive emails with, “We regret to inform you . . .” Then there were times I would prepare for interviews, only to be told, “We have decided to go with the other candidate . . .”

The tears I shed over the rejections could rival Niagara Falls. But in the six months I spent job-hunting, I learned more about God than I would have if my prayer requests came through instantly.

When I resigned from my reporting job, I was ready to also call it quits with writing. I did not want to go near anything that required writing, and I was quite happy to look for a career in accounting, which was the degree I graduated with.

However, God had other plans for me. At a leadership weekend at my church, a sermon by an American pastor, John Bevere, had me retracting my earlier decision. Pastor Bevere spoke on the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), which talks about a group of servants who are entrusted with talents to look after while their master is away. A few tend to and grow their gifts, but one of the servants hides his talent. When his master discovers this, he reprimands the servant for being wicked and lazy, and takes his talent away from him.

The sermon reminded me to make use of my talents properly, and convicted me that I should really give writing another go. Sometimes, as we ask God to show us what steps to take next, we fail to take little steps of obedience now.

Are you job-hunting now? Is there something you need to do in the meantime before God shows you your next step? Maybe you have always longed to volunteer at your local animal shelter or soup kitchen, or serve in church. This could be the perfect time for you to do things you otherwise had no time for, especially if your motivation is to use your skills to advance God’s interests in the world. It could also be God’s way of helping you pick up important skills your future employer is looking for, or those that will help you be an effective testimony of Him at work.

For me, I had to start writing again as an act of obedience to God.

I wish I could tell you that job offers came pouring in after I started writing for YMI. But they didn’t. The rejection emails continued to come. There were nights I would lie awake, worrying about my future and comparing my situation with friends who had fancy job titles.

Yet God has promised us that He will look after us, and that He has our future in His hands. Luke 12:32 gave me a lot of comfort during this time. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

The other thing I learned from my job hunting was that my identity does not come from any posh-sounding job title. Rather, my identity is in Christ. While men may judge my “unemployed” status, God sees me as His precious child, and my worth in His eyes does not drop an iota.

It is easy for us to derive our value from what is printed on our business cards. But the identity we find in God is something no one can take away from us. Our companies might tell us to pack up and leave as a result of a gloomy economy, but if we know who we are in Christ, we will not let it batter our confidence.

I waited for what seemed like eternity before I was offered my current job. And you know what? It was so much better than what I could have ever hoped and prayed for. It came with an attractive pay, a better work environment, and regular work hours.

Perhaps you are in similar situation. Maybe you have applied for so many jobs that you have lost count, and you feel like you are about to buckle from parental and peer pressure. But take heart and know that God is a God of more than enough (Ephesians 3:20). He will uphold you with His right hand (Isaiah 41:10), and He will give strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:29).

Your job hunt may look bleak. But I know God answers prayers at His appointed time. Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” So cling on to God and the hope He offers; He will see you through to the end.

22 replies
  1. Lianna
    Lianna says:

    This is so inspiring!! I just applied for my first job today and I have been doubting myself as in “I’m not going to get hired.” Reading this article comforts me knowing that God will always guide me in a where I’m meant to be and will never leave my side. <3

    Reply
  2. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    I will be bookmarking this for future. My story is similar that I quit a job that killed my confidence. It has caused me to really wonder if i am cut out for my career choice. However, this article has encouraged me so much. Trusting God with my job is something I am daily struggling with but I truly am trying to. Thank you for your words and listening to God in your talents.

    Reply
  3. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    thanks for this one.
    I find myself in this particular situation. I have a degree in finance but I love writing. I am waiting on God’s timing now.

    Reply
  4. Ann
    Ann says:

    Thank you so much for this. I had a good job but my manager failed to recommend my contract renewal when I went for maternity. It was really bitter pill to swallow but slowly am learning to let go and Trusting God for another opportunity.

    Reply
  5. Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes says:

    I have an accounting degree, but I have been out of a job for years. I’m slowly applying to jobs and submitting my resume. I worked for a BIG four when I graduated from college but that was almost ten years ago. I find myself reaching for my bible more and more instead of my phone to look up jobs. I find that trusting in the lord is the only definite choice and I pray for the right career opportunity at the right time, but I know all of that is up to God. I’m learning to be patient and understanding.

    Reply
  6. Mariah Mills
    Mariah Mills says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this article. I took a step of faith almost a year ago to leave the job I was as because I was burned out. I worked 3yrs doing graphic desisn after graduation and I left on great terms just knew it was time. Since I have a new job I landed and for the first time ever its a retail job which everyday I growing to dislike and trying not to despise I sometimes feel like I din know how to get back in the door doing what I was doing and feel under qualified and discouraged sometimes. I geatly appreciate your honesty in your journey and godly wisdom. It was such a blessing and an encouragement.

    Reply
  7. Rhenesia
    Rhenesia says:

    Wow wow wow and wow! If I read this a few months ago I would not have understood it but I went through the very same and I believe it is now my Testimony. I totally agree that what we think might not be for us but God has another plan, after all God knows the Plans He has for us, plans to give us hope and future! I had to find my identity in Christ and had to be reminded that my identity does not come from a fancy job or status. I believe my experience was humbling. I’m much stronger and I am also continuously aiming to not be my job, a job doesn’t define us.

    Reply
  8. T
    T says:

    Thank you for writing this, Michelle. When I read the first few paragraphs, I wanted to burst into tears because that was my exact experience, down to being a couch potato for six months, all the while believing that I would find the right job even if job rejections and personal defeats were already telling me otherwise. I thought I was working for my dream job, that is, until it burned me out. I was trying to do everything on my own without God. Quitting that job gave me the clarity I needed to face the truth that it wasn’t what I wanted anymore. But quietly, it also shattered me. Everything I thought I knew about myself and my future had been wiped blank. Still, I’m learning to let go and wait on God for the right opportunity and timing.

    Reply
    • Michele
      Michele says:

      Hi T, thank you for taking the time to comment on this post. In my oponion, the season of job hunting has probably got to be one of the hardest seasons in anyone’s life. A rapidly dwindling bank account and long days spent at home can get quite stressful. Corrie Ten Boom once said, “never be afraid to trust an unknown future in a known God”. Trust god, he has your future in his hands.

  9. JY
    JY says:

    wow, thank you for sharing this. i’ve been unemployed for almost 4 months now, rejection after rejection. this has reminded me to lean in on God and His promises. thank u 🙂

    Reply
  10. Judith
    Judith says:

    Thank you for this article. I have been out of a job for almost 4 months, and have been clinging to God to help me through the restlessness. He’s been faithful to watch over my bills, but it can only be for so long that the companies demand payment. Every time I want to apply somewhere, I get this impression to wait. I don’t believe God would not have me apply to open positions. Either way, I went ahead and applied to a few companies and only heard back from one. It is long distance though. I have asked the Lord to make clear if it is for me, but am now riddled with the idea I went ahead of Him or am trying to help Him. I need prayer and healthy counsel. It is trying to wait sometimes, and am praying for clear guidance to where I need to be. I find it more difficult when He asks me to do something that doesn’t make sense. I believe we have all been there before. Thank you, again. Blessings!

    Reply
  11. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    This article is timely indeed. It has been five months now since my contract ended and what you’ve described as a couch potato is me to a tee. Anxiety is piling up. The waiting period is the hardest. I have applied numerous jobs and some I’ve been called back but nothing past the written assessment stage. I’m still waiting on God and His appointed time. Keep me in prayer for something to come up. Stay blessed.

    Reply
  12. Ron
    Ron says:

    Dear Michele,

    Thank you for what you shared back on Oct 8, 2015, which is relevant today on trusting & submitting to God during our job search. We have a propensity to use worldly tactics when job hunting that’s guided by our own strength, wisdom and timing, which is a recipe for failure.

    Waiting is not easy, submitting fully to God’s will with our limited or better said, dim understanding of His perfect plan is challenging (1 Corinthians 13:12), but we can’t allow the enemy, fear, anxious or even our family and friends sway our fortitude in God to press forward and actively wait for His best. I know this all too well, as I’ve been out of work for about 10 months now.

    Actively waiting means to seek and acknowledge the Lord day and night in prayer with thanksgiving and confess our anxious thoughts to a God who understands our weak frame, (Philippians 4:6). We need to actively work on lessening the noise around us and peacefully meditate on His scriptures, allow Him to constantly grow our relationship of dependency upon Him, share with others our belief in the hope of His unconditional loving faithfulness that He will see us through to the other side.

    The Lord knows our struggles, if we’re not there yet with fully believing, we need to ask our gracious God to increase our unbelief. (Mark 9:24)

    Lastly, actively serving during this time will help replace our self-centered thoughts with other-centered thoughts, which brings a multitude of blessings in return.

    For all my fellow job seeking friends, be of good courage, stay strong and wait on the Lord!

    Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)

    In Christ we love,

    Ron

    Reply
  13. Sam
    Sam says:

    Thank you for such encouragement Brother . I have just come from the interview . Trusting God in the Call await .

    Reply
  14. Fani
    Fani says:

    Thank you so much for this message …I’ve been out of work for a year now and it has been hard , I don’t even want to start talking about the numerous job applications I have made and the not so pleasing replies I get back But in all things I’m still thankful to God for everything he has done . I know that he has awesome plans for me and yes the waiting period is the hardest but it has also taught me to serve God diligently , I’m still a work in progress but the more I wait on him, the more he opens my eyes to different aspects of my life . I’m so hopeful that everything I desire will end in praise.

    Reply
  15. Eliya
    Eliya says:

    In have never been able to find work, even though I’ve submitted numerous applications and and have had a couple interviews. Satan had been trying to get me to dwell on that, planting seeds of doubt and hopelessness into my mind. I remember, though, that God does not value me based on what I do, but on who I am, His daughter and He died on the cross for us– that’s having value. While I search for jobs, I remind myself that God is good and He has a plan for my life and a job He needs me to do, and to be His servant in the meantime. God bless you all, fellow job-hunters, trust In The Lord and His timing and plan for you.

    Reply

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