Where Was God in My Job-Hunting Struggles?

Written By Mikaila Bisson, USA

For the first year after graduating university, I had an internship and worked an interim job at my alma mater. These short-term positions were expected, as I had just entered the workforce—but once the positions ended, I was eager to find a “real” job and some consistency.

It was at this time that I really started praying for God to help me find a more permanent job.

However, by the end of my second summer after college, I was still jobless and had moved back in with my parents—something I vowed I would never do. Every day I would apply to jobs—any jobs! And while I had interviews for a handful, most of them didn’t pan out; companies would decide to hire internally, or jobs were mysteriously dissolved (What?!).

Eventually, I took a leap of faith and a few months’ worth of savings (in which time I was sure to get a job, right?), and moved to the city I wanted to live and work in.

As the months passed, my bank account dwindled, and no employment offers came, I rapidly lost hope that God would give me what I desperately needed—a job. Finally, when I had only $100 to my name, I sank into depression. Where was my God now? Couldn’t He see I was suffering and calling out to Him by the hour?

As much as I wish I could say that this low of lows brought me closer to God, it did the opposite. I was angry with God from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I expected Him to take care of me, or at the very least listen to me . . . and every day, all I heard was another, “no”, or more deafening silence.


Walking with God in Anger

Church and my faith were the only constants in my life, and as hard as it was to go to church sometimes—especially when a sermon on “vocation” left me battling away tears and disappointment—I still learned something about God and myself every week.

Lent (my favorite reflective church season) was particularly eye-opening that February, as it gave me space to walk alongside God in my anger through journaling, somber Lenten services, and reflection. I started to see how much He’d blessed me with—a support system, a house to live in, and a backup plan of parents who would gladly welcome me back home if needed.

While I continued to process through my feelings of anger during those Lenten months, I stumbled across a Bible story that brought me a new perspective on God’s provision.

The story is found in John 11:1-16. Here, Jesus finds out that His dear friend, Lazarus, is very sick. From past interactions, we know that Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were friends. But when Mary and Martha sent for Him, Jesus stayed where He was two more days before going back to Judea. Two more days? What was Jesus thinking? His good friend was desperately in need of His healing power, yet He chose to stay in Judea while Lazarus’ sickness turned fatal.


Seeing the Glory of God

This story has always confused me. Why would Jesus not come through for His friends immediately? But after reading Waiting: A Bible Study on Patience, Hope, and Trust by Sharla Fritz, I’ve come to a clearer perspective of why Jesus did what He did.

In John 11:5-6, we read,

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was . . .

So. That one word changes everything. Because Jesus loved these people, He stayed where He was.

Later in the chapter, we read,

Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? . . . Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face (John 11:40-44).

Why did Jesus stay where He was? To show the full measure of His glory in this situation by raising Lazarus from the dead four days later. To show that even though all seemed lost, He could do the impossible, and He is someone worth putting our trust in. To remind us that He acts according to the big-picture that we can’t see, or even imagine.


Even If We Don’t Understand

As I kept thinking about this, I realized that God didn’t owe me a job. Instead of demanding He give me one according to the plan I had laid out, I could share my desires, frustrations, and prayers with Him, but surrender the answers to His big-picture plan. Thankfully, His big picture plan did include me getting a full-time, permanent job—a great job at a ministry where I am able to grow in my profession and my faith, more than I ever thought I could.

God deserves our trust because He always does what’s best. In Mary and Martha’s situation, what was best was that their brother was raised from the dead because this act showed the enormity of what God can do. At this point in my life, I don’t understand why waiting for a job during that season was best for me. Although waiting built my trust in God and His plan, I’m still not sure how it will show His glory in the future. But even though I don’t understand, I know now that I can trust Him to provide for me—though it might not look the way I want it to.

And while I still feel a bit battered by the whole experience, I know Jesus will welcome me, and all my confusion and disappointment, into His arms . . . just as He wept with Mary over her loss (John 11:33-35), even though He knew He was about to bring Lazarus back to life.


34 replies
  1. George Sarah
    George Sarah says:

    I am exactly at this stage right now. The Lord keeps telling me to wait, but you know as human there are times when frustration and depression tend to distract. Thanks for this encouragement, this is what I need at this point, it’s so timely.

    • David Todora
      David Todora says:

      Thank you! 4 years waiting. Nothing! I was a mid manager in a company, just shy of 14 years. I was let go at a time I needed the money the most. I was making good money and just 50 years old. Since then, I worked as Sales Mgr for 2 years. Both companies went out of business. Now I am working part time for P&G doing audits. The pay is entry level. The Country is going to hell right now. I know my story is not unique. Why am I stuck at my age, at a low paying position when I a very over qualified? Thank you & God

  2. Jassem Mearaj
    Jassem Mearaj says:

    This what i needed to hear about because I’m currently in this situation. But God made me realized now that I must trust Him in the impossible because He is excellent doing what is best. Maybe at the right time He will give what job I really need. Waiting for that perfect time.

    • Mikaila
      Mikaila says:

      God’s timing is perfect, Jassem – keep holding on and trusting in what He can do for you!

  3. Cutis
    Cutis says:

    I’m in the same situation, I feel your pain.It is intense when everyone is getting a good permanent job but you.I have waited 5 years without a permanent job.Year in year out I celebrate the success of others and I keep getting the rejection mails.It’s not easy

    • Mikaila
      Mikaila says:

      Thank you for sharing, Cutis. I pray your faith get’s you through in this hard time!

  4. Norie
    Norie says:

    I am ashamed to quote the number of years I have gone through without a job and the pain and shame it has caused me. I have not given up in praying. I trust that God will deliver me from this turmoil.

  5. Felix
    Felix says:

    I’m in the same situation as you were. It’s very, VERY difficult to keep my faith during my job hunting. Day by day passed and it’s been more than a year already. I have done everything that I could do, praying, fasting, engaging in my ministry. Still no answer from God. But it’s true, like what you said. God doesn’t owe me anything. I hope you guys can pray for me to stay strong, and surrender to God. Thanks for your sharing. It helps me a bit.

  6. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    I am going through the same thing. I lost my job in March 2019 and it’s been hard. I apply and apply but somehow someone is always a “better” fit. God is with me because I am not hungry nor homeless but I want so badly to work. Now we are faced with the backlash of COVID and it’s making finding employment even harder. I talk to God but still no job bites. I feel sad and alone.

    • Bea Castro-Leeman
      Bea Castro-Leeman says:

      I feel the same Andrea. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I too know what it’s like. However, you are not alone. God Bless and Keep you.

  7. Just cloud
    Just cloud says:

    I’ve been out of work for ten years. I think I have had enough. The psychological pressure is immense.
    Jesus a man brutally murdered does not owe me anything.

  8. Anna
    Anna says:

    found this because i typed in: ‘why doesn’t God give me a job’ on Google. Figures. I clearly have come to a low point in my life. 🙂 I want to believe that God has a plan, but after 12 years struggling to find or keep a job, my trust in Him or a plan begins to wane significantly. Out of His mercy, He finally (after 10 years) granted me a job in 2019. What is more, it was at a Christian non-profit. I thought my life was finally unfolding, at 35. I had hope again.

    But my contract wasn’t renewed after a year of working there, because a member in my team found it uncomfortable to see i was struggling with insecurity sometimes and began to gossip and tell lies about me when i wasn’t there, making people look at me differently. I worked so hard. Made overtime, was passionate and accurate. I encouraged my coworkers when they needed it and built up the team spirit in a negative team by speaking positive words. But i got fired over being insecure. (Which is kind of inevitable after 10 years of fruitless job hunting, 10 years of not being able to develop and bloom). I am so disappointed and heartbroken. It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost a year ago i heard the news and i’m still not over it. Probably also because i again am stuck in fruitless job hunting. There is so much i want to give. I want to help people, i want to make the world a better place. I have a bachelor’s degree, i am so eager to learn and develop myself. But no matter how hard i try, that one chance that i need to get started, just doesn’t come. I know God can work miracles, but i feel so forgotten by Him. I don’t know how to pray anymore.

    Can anyone relate?

    • cyndi
      cyndi says:

      Yes, but God’s timing is best. Maybe you should start spending more time with God…. I too I have been looking for work two years now without work.. I have been agitated at some point but I could hear the Lord telling me to be still and know that He is God and in control… I took the challenge to wait on God…. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us is the author of our destiny…..

    • Ariel
      Ariel says:

      This sounds like I could have written it. I have my BA. degree in Communications. I graduated in 2011 and had so many big dreams to work in the entertainment industry, corporately and creatively. God even sent encouragement to go after myndreams, but wver since I’ve graduated I’ve had to take whatever job I could get and none of my dreams took off, altleast in the time I thought. I too have struggled to keep jobs and have embarrassingly been let go. I’ve been so angry at God as He’s seemingly promotes those that are less experienced. I’ve been praying for great employment and have been faithful to whatever job I’ve had and sometimes my efforts seem like they are to no avail. I’ve even asked o leave this earth b/c I felt like my life was purposeless. It feels like God is always punishing me. Though I have a job now and try my best to be grateful, I struggle with discontentment b/c its been hard to survive on the salary I have. I have felt like God is careless and breadcrumbs me with whatever job He can throw my way

      I know where you’re coming from. Know that you’re not alone and I pray you get a great job!

  9. Jane
    Jane says:

    This is me. I recently transferred to a store where, before I accepted the job offer, I was promised Sundays off so I could attend church and spend time with God (I used “faith time”, but anyway).

    The HR person went back on her word and continues to schedule me during work hours and insist I show up. I request it off, but nothing.

    I promised God I’d put Him first and attend church when I moved here. I haven’t been in sooo many years and know I’ve needed this.

    In the last two days, I’ve put in several job applications, but my thing is that I have two family members telling me He’ll understand if I go to work instead. They don’t get how physically ill and angry it makes me.

    If I don’t go to church, just to keep my job, I don’t have any confidence that I will return again because nobody gets it.

    I know I need money and also have a cat to take care of (she’s my baby and has two appointments coming up), but I don’t put my job first.

    They took me on under false premises and royally screwed me over because now I’m stuck there for 6 months under false availability.

    Either way, I’m going to lose my job because I’m not putting work before God anymore. Attending nourishes my soul and helps me put up with the lack of humanity in corporate America.

    And I’m so mad — at HR, at my family — and frustrated with God.

  10. Kate
    Kate says:

    I totally get this. I’m 57 and have been looking for work for four years and no one wants to hire me at this age. My husband is insisting we need me to work full-time but it’s hard to even get part-time. I pray and pray and have only gotten a little seasonal work. It’s tough.

  11. Zalka
    Zalka says:

    This may appear to be off-topic, but is there anyone located in Europe who knows how to sew? I’ve been unemployed for two years as well, but God has called me to start a business of sharing the Gospel through elegant and modest clothing pieces during that time. There are so many things we can do for God’s kingdom, but I have a hard time finding people who are passionate about God and willing to do this type of work. God bless you all! <3

  12. Richard
    Richard says:

    I’ve been looking for a full-time job in my field for a decade now. I have gotten close a few times but there was always someone else who was more qualified. I think part of the reason why God has been having me wait was that he wanted me to meet a certain someone. I had to be broken down and move out of my desired city to a small town to meet the woman of my dreams. We are getting married this month. Thankfully she already has a well-paying job. (well enough anyways). I’m working on making myself more employable and she is the most caring and understanding person in the world. I’m sure God wanted me to marry her first because if I was successful in the old city I never would have met her.

  13. Cee
    Cee says:

    Thank you. I needed to read this. I was getting really frustrated working 2 jobs, grad school full time, about to start a 3rd job a part time gig, and not able to make rent this month, wondering where is my provider? Why do I have to work like this and still mot make it?

  14. Heather
    Heather says:

    After reading these comments and thinking about my own struggles, I feel that many people are angry about God not providing a job for them… perhaps though, God is calling you to something else. Are there gifts and talents and a dream that He placed in your heart that you haven’t been using or trusting in Him to make it come to pass? I have realized for myself that I just need to surrender and accept what is happening in order to find peace. Job went through many struggles from all angles, and yet He kept praising God and accepting what happened because He knew that he was the clay, and that God was the potter. I think that the more we can surrender and find contentment with what we have and praise God, the more He will bless us. We will find peace that way also… Praying for all of us. God does provide, and He will, in His own perfect timing. Don’t give up the faith- that’s what the enemy wants us to do. God loves us- Satan only wants to steal, kill and destroy. It’s not God doing that, it’s the enemy… let us never forget that, no matter what it may look like.

  15. Susan
    Susan says:

    I can NEVER land a job I can like or appreciate! And I ultimately quit or, as is usually the case, I get fired. One day, I hope God can answer the HUGE “Why?” to this horribly challenging life.

  16. jason
    jason says:

    People keep saying “leave it to God” and you leave it to God and do nothing and then those people say “you can’t expect God to search for a job” then you search tirelessly for a job and the same people come back and say “God doesn’t answer because you aren’t trusting him, just leave it to him”, meanwhile God sleeps or just watches you dig deeper into unfaithfulness and almost suicidal depression. It is confusing and frustrating to the point where life has no meaning anymore.

  17. massy
    massy says:

    its exactly 10 yrs since i graduated, and actually in my late 30’s. Have never been employed, over the years have send my papers to many different organisations and companies, have prayed, fasted, had lowest moments which have cried over and over. sometimes i felt like God never cared or thought about me because honestly 10yrs why??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    however through this life journey he has blessed me with family which am alwaiys grateful about.
    like when will it happen

    • Ruth
      Ruth says:

      I will pray for you to get a great job. I understand. I have battled a disease since I was a teen. Chronic pain. No marriage. No Kids. No job for 19 years and 8 months, and never a single penny from the government. I too have prayed, fasted, cried, believed, etc. I feel like Job, BUT he was fully restored. Like Job said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him…” I thank God for great parents, but I lost my dad a few months ago, and he left mom and I with nothing. I need a breakthough now. This month’s rent is paid. We can scrape enough for February, but that’s it.

  18. Yeslit
    Yeslit says:

    Thank you, this is so beautifully written
    And perfectly encapsulates my struggles with unemployment.
    I ask God to help me understand but the only constant seems to be silence, nonetheless I have faith in Gods plan I know he will take care of me. Stay blessed everyone God loves you.


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