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Hi Everyone! My name is Steve Holsteen. I’m one of the pastors at Faith Community Church in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Some experiences leave a deep mark on our lives.

Twice in the 41 years that I’ve been working full time, I’ve been told I was losing my job.

Both times, my immediate reaction was, “How will I support my family?” “How will I pay the bills?” “Will we lose our home?” I still have bad dreams from those experiences. The fears that surface again and again in my dreams aren’t JUST about being unable to feed, clothe and shelter myself and my loved ones. Those concerns fade over time.

Instead my nightmare is that I’m in a workplace where I have no particular job responsibilities and no one seems to know me or include me in meaningful activity. I don’t do anything worthwhile and don’t belong among my colleagues. I feel unworthy and ashamed; abandoned, forsaken and isolated.

These days, the possibility of losing our jobs is more than a bad dream.

The government has closed some businesses that are designated as “non-essential.”  Layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts are exposing MANY OF US to the reality of economic hardship and ALMOST ALL OF US to the fear that we may be the next to hear that somehow, we’re “non-essential.”

But whether you have a job or don’t--you matter to God. He doesn’t ask you or me what we do or how much we’re paid to decide if He’ll love us or leave us. He’ll never tell us we’re “non-essential.”

Instead the Bible tells us in Hebrews, chapter 13 that, "[God] has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you!'" He promises to never abandon you. He’s always by your side. You are always in His company!

Because this is true, Hebrews goes on to tells us, "we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not fear; what can man do to me?'" If I matter so much to God that he promises to be MY helper, an employer telling me I can’t help them anymore can never dictate my worth.  

But I can also say, because I’ve experienced the prospect of losing my job in the past, I react in hard times like these. Like you, I know when resources get scarce, how well I do my job can impact whether I KEEP my job. I know I’m not a perfect employee, so I work really hard to “earn my keep.”

The thing is, that attitude can affect my feelings about God, too. I start to think He’s constantly evaluating my performance to decide whether He’ll “let me go.”

But God NEVER tells us we have to “earn our keep.”

INSTEAD, He tells us Jesus has done a work on our behalf that’s SO worthwhile He could never “let us go.”  God looks at us and sees the perfect work of His perfect son, Jesus, dying on the cross to right our wrongs, forgive our sins, erase our every mistake.

In God’s appraisal of our performance, we have a perfect work record.

There is nothing we can do that will add to or diminish the gift God offers us in Jesus. We simply have faith that Jesus’ work is sufficient to earn us our eternal keep, in his loving presence. Jesus' resurrection is proof that we can trust God’s promise for this amazing hope!

I also want you to know you can experience God’s loving acceptance among His people at Faith Community Church. If you’ve experienced a job loss with the economic hardship and sense of separation it brings, we want to support and encourage you. You matter to God AND you matter to us.    

One great way to experience that encouragement is to join our live online services at 9 and 11 AM on Sunday mornings. 

This Easter weekend, we’ll celebrate the resurrection hope we have in Jesus. So invite a friend or loved one to join you so we can spread the good news to as many people as possible.    

Before you move ahead with your day, would you click the share button below so we can continue to spread the hope of Jesus through these videos.

We will see you back here next week for the next edition of FAITH & Life.

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