James 1:9 (NIV)
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
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.
Dear Lord. We thank You for the way You will use everything we go through to help mold us into the people You want us to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.