At this time of recession, many people are losing their jobs. Even well-trained professionals are suffering from lack of adequate employment to earn justifiable income. Young graduates are the worst hit. An advertisement for a single vacancy attracts hundreds of applications, demonstrating that there is an acute shortage of jobs.
Some graduates decide to study for more degrees to have a competitive edge in employment opportunities. Some learn different trades and skills to qualify for certain jobs. Most businesses did not perform well last year; turnover and profits declined while some companies actually closed down. Closing down and cutting down operations mean throwing the workers into the already stressed labour market.
The question is how does the change of fortunes affect God’s plan and purpose for your life? How does the recession affect the wonderful promises of God for His children? In Jeremiah 29:11, God promises, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Can recession change God’s purpose for your life? The answer is no. The recession is already built into the divine plan because it did not come as a surprise to God as it came to you. That is why He said in Job 5:20, “In famine, he shall redeem thee from death.” The country is going through famine right now and our leaders, economic analysts and financial experts are utterly confused and just experimenting with apparently no clear vision. But God is still assuring His children, “At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh…” (Job 5:22).
My friend, you may lose your job, at least temporarily, and even your personal business may go under but what God has created you to do can never derail. God’s purpose for your life cannot change because you lost a particular job. Remember that nobody can take away from you whatever gift God has given you. You may refuse to use the gift but it still remains with you.
Romans 11:29 says, “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” God does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call. Your job may terminate but your God-given assignment does not terminate. This is the difference between the job you do to generate income and the work you do to fulfil God’s purpose for your life.
Apostle Paul was trained as a lawyer and earned income from his practice. Law was his profession but that practice terminated when he encountered Jesus Christ on his way to persecute believers in Damascus. He responded to his call to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. While serving the Lord as an evangelist, he still he needed a job to make some money. Therefore, he learnt tent making and started making and selling good quality tents.
People can learn some skills to make money, but that job is not the calling and can stop anytime. Jesus learnt carpentry and cabinet making from his father, Joseph, who was a popular carpenter. At the age of 30, that profession or business terminated, as He assumed His life assignment.
You can retire from your job at the mandatory age. In Nigeria, retirement age is from 60 to 70 years. You either retire or you are retired. Usually, it is a condition for service. The institution that offers employment has the right to terminate it. Even when you are the owner of the business you still decide to retire and hand over to some other persons.
On the other hand, if God has called you into His business, He will usually not retire you and, of course, you cannot retire yourself. Apostle Paul stopped tent making after some time but he did not stop his God-given work until he died.
Sometimes termination of your job or the collapse of your business makes you reflect on the true work God has assigned to you. That true work does not collapse or cease. When you are carrying out God’s assignment, He makes all the necessary provisions and resources available for you to succeed.
Your success gives God glory. Since you cannot do it alone, He provides you with helpers but He is the Helper and Guide. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which tho shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” God’s work is bound to succeed because God cannot fail.
Nothing attracts challenges as a calling or divine assignment. Jesus was persecuted and Paul suffered terribly but God’s assignments were completed. “In this world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
We must surely have unforeseen difficulties that take us by surprise. This happens to everyone. But God has assured us the He will always make a way of escape from such challenges.