A letter to someone who lost job

My heart is distressed to hear the bad news from you.

This is indeed a time of difficulties.  But this is not the first time I have seen this.  In the past, I have seen many people experience the same during an economic downturn.  The truth is, everyone eventually survived the financial difficulties, but not everyone came out of the fire with a spiritual victory.  For those merely survived a financial difficulty, life just took one more cycle of up and down and came closer to an end.  But how encouraging it is to see those who did come out with a spiritual victory become refined, stronger and closer to God, and lead to a more beautiful life.

It takes time for a child of God to start to see the heart of the Lord and understand his will toward eternity.  God does not cause difficulties in our lives, but he allows them to happen. We may be busy building an earthly house for ourselves and ask God to help, but he aims to produce a heavenly product out of our being and our circumstances through the process of refining us with fire.  And by doing this, he is willing to take the risk of bringing about ashes through the fire. 

Remain strong in your faith, for the end is ever better than before.  “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through out the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.” -2 Chronicles 16.9.

For believers, the Lord’s own words require a lifetime experience to understand: “Your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his Kingdom and righteousness first, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6.32-33” .  I have learned that we really don’t need much in material to live this life, although the Lord may bless us far beyond what we need.  I learned many lessons on how to be content with whatever I have, and how to always do my best but expect the least.

Seek his will and his heart, and it will be shown to you, for the Father is more than willing to do that to his children. Only the Lord himself is, not just has, the answer.  When the friends of Job finished their counseling, God has the following to say: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”  But God revealed  himself to Job to answer Job’s questions.  For this reason, I tremble before God for whatever advice I can give you. 

I encourage you to start to look for a new job immediately, as you may be already doing.  If you need someone to look at your résumé and the cover letter, I would be glad to help. Look for all possibilities.  An even better opportunity than the previous one may turn up, you just don’t know. 

However, do not fix your mind on hoping for an easy out.  Let your heart be prepared to enter into a possible  humbling situation in necessary.  Theoretically, I would not even eliminate the possibility of temporarily going back to a university or research institute to work as a post doc for a short period of time.  Whatever the situation, gladly accept it as an opportunity to grow in the Lord, and never indulge in self pity. 

When I went to graduate school, we were in debt, my tuition was not counted for, my wife was earning a meager salary of an assistant scientist, and we had two small children.  If it were up to me, I would have decided it wasn’t possible for us to go through that at all.  But somehow the Lord provided.  And those were the years of happiness with abundant spiritual growth.

The great strength of a Christian comes from living by faith, not by sight, and that kind of living is made possible by the provision of the Lord himself.  God would have had a house full of spoiled children if he had always shown us what he has prepared ahead of us.

May your heart rest on the unshakable Rock.

A happy ending five months later:

What a glorious testimony of the Lord.  Thank you very much for keeping me updated.  The sons of the world will see events like this in their lives as a matter of survival, but one who knows Lord can see His hands of discipline, mercy and redemption, all for a greater good that suits for the eternal kingdom.  My spirit rejoice with you.  Although it may have appeared that you’ve been through a a humbling situation, I sincerely tell you that my heart was encouraged by you when I saw you remained faithful and didn’t turn away from the Lord, as many would to merely seek earthly blessings in a time of testing troubles.

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