Today I experienced something that I’ve never experienced before. I was laid off from my job. How ironic that I posted the following blurb in my last post before I left for work this morning:
People at your job may be being laid off right and left. But you need to stand on the promises God’s given you, knowing that even though “a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, [that no such thing will] come near you.”
And I admit, it’s good advice. But what if you’ve already been laid off? What if you’re like me? Well, first of all, if you have been laid off, I’m sorry. I am so sorry. But not so sorry that I’m going to let either of us stay in this mess. God has not abandoned us. He hasn’t left us. We’re going to stand on His Word. We aren’t going to stand on our confusion or our worries or fears of questions. None of those things will get us out of this mess we’re in.
Let’s journey to Romans 4:17-18 where we read about Abraham and how he held on to what God said.
We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”
Let’s do as Abraham did. Even though everything may look hopeless in the natural, we’re going to believe God anyway. And because we’re going to be coming in agreement with God, like Abraham, we’re going to receive exactly what God’s promised us. God’s has a mighty calling on your life. And we aren’t going to settle for some dead-end, low pay, miserable job — just so we can “have a job”. Of course you need a job. We both do. But let’s not scrape by with the bare minimum. Let’s believe for ALL God has for us. Let’s believe God to move us into a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity where we can use the giftings He’s given us and be radically blessed financially at the same time.
A friend from work was telling me the other day about a certain church that sat right next to the World Trade Center twin towers, before they were tragically destroyed on 9/11. Do you remember seeing the news coverage of people running from the towers, running from stores and shops and businesses that were blocks from the towers? Especially when the towers toppled down. It looked like destruction spanned for blocks and blocks. But that church I just mentioned — it was completely unscathed. It wasn’t destroyed by the debris. It didn’t topple over. No, it was fine. In fact, that church went on to offer food and supplies to the people whose lives were turned upside down by that devastating event. That church became a resting place for the fireman and emergency workers working non-stop to save people from the debris surrounding the towers. As my friend finished telling me this story, she reminded me of Psalm 91: A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes. … If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways (verses 7-11).
What an amazing illustration of God’s promise to protect His children. And we can apply those same promises to the economic disaster that looms over our country and many countries around the world. Imagine yourself — like that church, propped up right against destruction, and yet remaining completely unscathed. In other words, people at your job may be being laid off right and left. But you need to stand on the promises God’s given you, knowing that even though “a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, [that no such thing will] come near you.” Are your stocks plummeting? Did your spouse lose their job? Have you lost your job? Have you received a foreclosure notice in the mail? Are you laying awake at night, in fear, of all of the negative reports on the news? Get your eyes off the circumstances! The righteous walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7, Hebrews 10:38). Stop putting your trust in hearsay, in news reports, in polls and lift your eyes to God.
“Because he loves Me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (Psalm 91:14-15)