Last night we took the opportunity to attend a friends church here at home. Sometime during the day my wife suggested we attend the Wednesday evening service. At first I was not very keen on the idea because of the amount of work we have on our plate and the short time we have between events. That being said, I sensed the leading of the Holy Spirit through her suggestion, so agreed we should go…I’m glad we did.
From the very first song through the prayer after the teaching, the Lord spoke to my wife and I. He reminded us how He is our provider and how we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. I had gotten that verse, Phil 4:13, several times yesterday. First during my morning devotional, second while listening to Erica Enders-Stevens acceptance speech for winning the NHRA Pro Stock championship and then last night during service.
You might wonder why the Lord is telling me these things. Honestly, we are once again headed into uncharted waters. The road ahead is bright for our little company, however, the load is starting to become a little overwhelming. We have more work than people and we are doing work we have very little experience with even though our customers have great confidence in our ability to accomplish the tasks.
Our last event showed us the benefit of a larger team, but the capabilities (finances, etc) are not there to sustain that effort. As we drove out of the track my wife and I fully understood our team is not big enough. So what do we do? Keep walking, keep believing and keep working towards the goals He has set for us as Christ followers and His children. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.’
Last night the the pastor challenged the congregation with one question, ‘Do you believe?’ That is the first question all of us must answer when He asks us to step out in faith. Do you believe He is who He says He is, the God of the universe, creator of all things.
by Os Hillman
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. – James 1:9
Do you find yourself in humble circumstances? If so, James tells us that we are to take pride in this “high” position. These two things would seem to be an oxymoron. Most of us would not consider humble circumstances a high position. Successful business tells us that being on top means being wealthy, attaining favor and status, or having power to influence. However, Jesus influenced not from power, but from weakness.
J.C. Penney is a name synonymous with department store. He first launched his chain of “The Golden Rule” stores in 1907. In 1910 his first wife died. Three years later, he incorporated as the J.C. Penney company. In 1923 his second wife died giving birth to his son. In 1929 the stock market crashed and he lost $40 million.
By 1932, he had to sell out to satisfy…creditors. This left [Penney] virtually broke. …Crushed in spirit from his loss and his health suddenly failing, Penney wound up in a Battle Creek, Michigan sanitarium. One morning he heard the distant singing of employees who gathered to start the day with God: Be not dismayed, whate’er betide, God will take care of you…. Penney followed the music to its source and slipped into a back row. He left a short time later a changed man, his health and spirit renewed, and ready to start the long climb back at age fifty-six.
By 1951 there was a J.C. Penney store in every state, and for the first time sales surpassed $1 billion a year. [John Woodbridge, ed., More Than Conquerors (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1992), 340-343.]
The success of J.C. Penney can be traced to God’s mercy in his life to bring him out of his humble circumstance. Do you find yourself in a humble circumstance? God is the only one who can help you see your humble circumstance from His viewpoint-a high position. It is a high position because of what God is going to teach you in this place. He does not intend you to stay there; it is merely a stopping place to learn some important things you would not learn otherwise. Press into God and trust Him for the outcome to your circumstances.