Logoff Login More Articles All Articles Home
April 2, 2020

J. C. Penney: Starting Over

Os Hillman • Biographies
Do you find yourself in humble circumstances? If so, James tells us that we are to take pride in this "high" position...
"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.
Click on Faith and Work Resources.com bookstore link to the right of this page to access resources by this and other authors.

Visitor Comments (1)

JC Penney

I have been shopping at JC Penney for the last year rebuilding my home and have put inspirational messages that I bought in the JC Penney homestore in Wheaton Maryland.
My kitchen is filled with these momentums of Faith, Love, and God.
My sister asked me where I bought these and I told her JC Penney and she said did I read about JC Penney.
She told me about the book TGIF and I searched this on the internet.
I have signed up and am truly blessed with this information and will have all four of my sisters and daughter become involved with this.
I am just like JC Penney and have gone through adversity and am 56 years exactly the age that JC Penney was when he came out on the other side with God's blessings and guidance.
I thank you Os Hillman for leading us to this and I thank God for leading me to JC Penney during this last year of rebuilding my home.

Allyson Shields

Tools to Equip You

Find a Job: Free Career Guide at Crossroads Career Network