A: In these uncertain times, you are not alone in your concerns. Being out of work must be a very trying experience, and I am sorry to hear you are going through hard times.
I feel sure that you are probably taking the steps that you need to take to alter these circumstances—for example, actively looking for employment. But, once we are doing all we can do on the material plane, it is our next job to deal with worry and anxiety, which can paralyze the best of us:
(48:7.21) 19. Anxiety must be abandoned. The disappointments hardest to bear are those which never come.
In times when material concerns press hard on us, that is the time that we can benefit by re-framing our view so that these circumstances become opportunities for spiritual growth. Our outer circumstances may not change appreciably, but our inner resilience will increase—our ability to overcome will increase.
(3:5.5) The uncertainties of life and the vicissitudes of existence do not in any manner contradict the concept of the universal sovereignty of God. All evolutionary creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. Consider the following:
1. Is courage—strength of character—desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments.
3. Is hope—the grandeur of trust—desirable? Then human existence must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties.
When we find ourselves in the crucible of difficult times, it might be easy to put our attention on our lack—lack of money, lack of employment, or our fears—fear of poverty, fear of loss. But despite material circumstances, when we dedicate our lives to a higher goal—for example, the enlargement of the brotherhood of man through unselfish service , we can find the courage to transcend purely material concerns, and we can cultivate the hope that material circumstances will eventually change to support our higher goals.
It is in these times that God can become our best friend. In our weakness, God is strong for us.
And you have that friend right within you. God lives within your mind , and he wants to help you...
(111:7.2) May I admonish you to heed the distant echo of the Adjuster’s faithful call to your soul? The indwelling Adjuster cannot stop or even materially alter your career struggle of time; the Adjuster cannot lessen the hardships of life as you journey on through this world of toil. The divine indweller can only patiently forbear while you fight the battle of life as it is lived on your planet; but you could, if you only would—as you work and worry, as you fight and toil—permit the valiant Adjuster to fight with you and for you. You could be so comforted and inspired, so enthralled and intrigued, if you would only allow the Adjuster constantly to bring forth the pictures of the real motive, the final aim, and the eternal purpose of all this difficult, uphill struggle with the commonplace problems of your present material world.
(156:5.13) God-knowing individuals are not discouraged by misfortune or downcast by disappointment. Believers are immune to the depression consequent upon purely material upheavals; spirit livers are not perturbed by the episodes of the material world. Candidates for eternal life are practitioners of an invigorating and constructive technique for meeting all of the vicissitudes and harassments of mortal living. Every day a true believer lives, he finds it easier to do the right thing.
I would suggest to you that the circumstances in which you find yourself are fertile ground for developing a strong character and also for developing a universe view of your life and your destiny—far above the material problems that you are facing. Once we begin concentrating on the higher things of life, the lower things fall into place. It may take some time, and your circumstances may not change quickly, but you will feel much less anxiety when you place your focus on something higher—when you place your trust in God, who loves you with a Fatherly affection, and who knows you better than you know yourself. Most importantly, you must remember that you are not alone.
Stay close to God. In times of trouble, God is our great refuge. He is our firm foundation—the rock upon which we can safely stand and not be buffeted by the winds of change. A favorite prayer/phrase of mine is: "Safe thus far..."
Thanks again for writing us with your concerns. I am sorry that you are having this trouble in your life. Above all, don't let fear and anxiety gain the upper hand. I pray that when you follow the links I have provided and do a little more reading and praying, and a little less worrying, that you will find a renewed sense of inner strength. Also, I pray that you'll get some direction and possibly even a new opportunity to lead you into calmer waters."