Faith and Career (Part 2) – Trusting God’s Plans
In Part 1 of our Faith and Career series we talked about what it looks like to be a light for Christ in the workplace and how we can maintain our identity in Christ even in a secular work environment. Another big part of applying our faith to our career involves trusting in God’s plans for our career instead of relying on our own plans: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). At RE:NEW’s Career Panel Discussion back in November 2021, Jeff Chan, Youth Pastor of the First Evangelical Community Church in Cerritos, shared some ways young people can discover the kind of job God may be calling them to pursue.
He recommended that youth think about where their own personal passion meets a need in the world – “That’s a good indication of where God wants you to be,” said Pastor Jeff, who originally started out as a teacher but eventually got into ministry. He then recommended just trying it, while also not expecting too much from a job. He mentioned that no job will meet all your needs. You may find that not all your coworkers will become your friends or you may not even make as much money as you had hoped for. But he pointed out that God may still have you there for a purpose while fulfilling your needs elsewhere, such as finding community at church or providing side opportunities to make more financially.
One way to find out if a job is not where God wants you to be is to ask yourself whether you dread waking up in the morning to go to your job. If so, God probably has different plans for you and will show you what that may look like as you pray about why your current job may not be right for you.
Another aspect of trusting God’s plans is dealing with disappointment when our career doesn’t go as we had hoped. God still wants us to trust that He has good plans for us even though we may not see it or understand everything yet. Paul Auyeung, who now works as a Strategic Project Manager for an advertising and marketing agency called Channel Bakers, loves his job but was led there by God in a surprising way.
Prior to the pandemic, Paul worked for the Disneyland Resort for 14 years as a project manager, which he considered his dream job at the time. However, after 6 years at Disney, many of his trusted friends and family members suggested he look for new job opportunities since it was a high-stress job and it didn’t pay well. So at that time, he put out his resume to see if any other companies would reach out to him, but even after 8 years, there were no calls.
It wasn’t until April 2020 when Paul was put on furlough – where he was allowed to keep his job but was given no pay – that God told him that it was time to stop his job at Disney. He had peace about that and decided to wait on the Lord and keep himself busy by looking for ways to serve, which was how he got in touch with Presence.
October of that same year, he was officially laid off by Disney and although he knew it was not where God wanted him to be, it was still shocking. He was tempted to worry since he had officially lost his job and had no other job prospects at the time. But looking back, he saw that God’s timing was really amazing.
At the end of the same month that he lost his job at Disney, Paul got his first reply to his resume in 8 years. The interview process was surprisingly smooth and he was hired to support this new company’s CEO who happened to be a Christian.
“God was leading me at that time,” said Paul. “Submit yourself…let God lead you and then He will lead you.”
Ultimately, God has given us our skills and talents not to get success for ourselves but to serve Him and be faithful in whatever job He places us. We are called to be the light of the world and a city on a hill; we are to stand out for Christ (Matthew 5:14). As we do so, we can trust that even if things don’t always go smoothly, He still has good plans for 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’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Written by: Elizabeth Hughes