\I recently read the book “Finishing Strong” by Steve Farrar. The book presents the idea of receiving a “Masters of Character Acquisition.” Many of life’s lessons are learned through the tough times in our lives, through the valleys rather than the mountaintops.

The loss of a loved one, the loss of a job—these are the events that develop our character.

Let’s consider the four “classes” the book discusses in order to achieve the MCA.

Unemployment 101

When you take a typical class, you receive a syllabus describing what you should expect and how long the class will last. With Unemployment 101, that is not the case.

When I lost my job in 2008, my Unemployment 101 was much longer than I expected, but it was just the right amount of time so I could learn the lessons God wanted me to learn.

If you are in this class, God might be retooling you for a new position, a new direction or maybe a renewed faith in Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” But be careful: This was a promise of hope made to a people God was sending into 70 years of captivity and persecution.

But God in His mercy gives us the key to unlocking this hope: “‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Advanced obscurity

During unemployment, you may feel like you are in obscurity, not seeing or talking with coworkers. God is providentially using this time to help you build character in this season of obscurity. It’s OK. Drink deep from this act of God’s mercy.

Remedial waiting

You have done the work, submitted the resumé, completed the interview … why won’t they call me back? Remember Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Intermediate loneliness

Jesus promised us that He would always be with us, that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Lean into that promise, and you will discover the mercy of God in this season.

I hope this helps! The MCA curriculum will be hard, but you will be better for it, and God will be glorified.

For support through the job transition, join us at 7 p.m. every Thursday evening on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/174154667.