Losing your job is a difficult experience, one that can cause intense stress and worry. However, business adviser Bill English observes that losing your job can actually help strengthen you in the long run — if you take the opportunity to trust in God’s promises.

“For the Christian, you have to know that God is not surprised by this: God is in control and His promises to meet your needs. One of the most enviable places a Christian can be is when they are utterly dependent upon God, and they have lost all of their self-sufficiency. Say they’ve lost all of their resources, they’ve lost everything that they have, yet, what is revealed in their heart is a true dependence on God.”

“People might think, ‘Bill, that’s easy for you to say.’  I can tell you, I’ve been there several times.  I have laid awake at night with panic attacks over this kind of stuff. But you keep coming back and you keep recommitting yourself to God’s care over and over again, and you eventually build into yourself this deep trust and confidence in the Lord–that, had you not gone through that trial, you would have never had.”

Rather than immediately rushing into a new job hunt, English says it’s alright to take a little time to process the job you lost:

“After you’ve been laid off, it’s going to be painful. It’s going to hurt because you’ve been rejected, even if your job was eliminated, it’s going to feel that way. So you need you need some time just to decompress. How long depends on how much money you have and how deeply hurt you are. If you’re a professional, and you have six months of income sitting in the bank, you might want to take a month and decompress.”

There are also some practical tips for handling a lay off in a wise, faith-filled way.  The first hour is a critical window, when it’s vital is to keep control of your emotions and operate in grace, rather than in a defensive or retaliatory way.

 “You definitely don’t want to say or do anything to burn any bridges with the folks who have just laid you off, because you might very well need them in the next 3-6 months. While the first hour might be your chance to get your pound of flesh, dial it back.  Vengeance is not our job, it really belongs to God, and we need to take that seriously.”

This principle applies to social media interactions as well.

“You definitely don’t want to go on your social media sites and start trashing your former employer, because other employers are going to look at your Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts before hiring you. If they see that you’ve been trashing your former employer, that’s not going to bode well for you in the interview process.”

Remember–God is in control. He loves you and wants what’s best for you. And He’s positioning you, your job, and the rest of existence in perfect precision, all to bring about the utmost good. Now is the time to lean on His provision and let His powerful love cast out your fears.

 Bill English is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Northwestern.  He is an Executive Consultant with The Platinum Group and the Founder of Bible and Business.

Hope after a job loss