Faculty Notebook: Jobless? Take a step of faith in God
by Professor Brad Stamm
A few weeks ago I was sitting at a table of Cornerstone students who will be graduating this spring and asked them what type of job prospects they have. Not one of them had anything solid.
I went on to suggest that the first thing they should do in their job search is to pray. I know it might sound simplistic, presumptive, and something your grandmother would tell you, but I believe that we please our Lord by going to Him first. Considering He is our loving Heavenly Father, doesn’t it follow that we should make our most important life decisions known to Him?
Over 200 years ago Robert Thomas Malthus predicted that population growth would outstrip the food supply, resulting in misery and poverty. This “Malthusian Trap’ did not occur due to significant increases in agricultural productivity and slower population growth, especially in higher-income countries. He will always be remembered, however, along with Thomas Carlyle, in helping give economics the somewhat derogatory label, ‘the dismal science,’ referring to his bleak outlook.
Are Cornerstone University graduates subject to a similar type of Malthusian Trap where it appears that little hope remains in finding employment due to the economic downturn? Are their future jobs and careers inextricably linked to the natural world? Or, do they serve and follow the One who can ‘provide a table in the wilderness?’ Is Jesus able to provide meaningful work for our students in the midst of this global recession or is He constrained by the economic principles and laws of nature along with everyone else? If He can heal the sick, raise the dead, and most importantly, forgive our sins, is Jesus also able to guide our career paths?
I believe God will provide for us in those desert places in our lives such as during the anxious periods of a job search or those lonely periods of unemployment. There is sufficient evidence of God’s provision both in the Scriptures and in the lives of those who have believed in Him throughout the ages. Sometimes it is just a matter of taking what little faith you have in yourself and in His ability to answer your prayers, offering it to him, and allowing Him to work. And when He gives you your job, the first thing you should do is to thank Him, for “every good and perfect gift is from above,” (James 1:17).