Many people know about the store J.C. Penney, but very few know the story of James Cash Penney, the American businessman who founded the store. In 1907, James Cash (J.C.) purchased full interest in three department stores. He quickly expanded operations and by 1912, he had 34 stores in the Rocky Mountain States. In 1913, the company was incorporated under the new name, J. C. Penney Company. During the 1920s, the Penney stores expanded nationwide, with 120 stores in 1920 (mostly still in the west) and 1400 stores by 1929.
By 1924, Penney was earning an income of more than $1.5 million dollars annually. The large income allowed Penney to be heavily involved in many philanthropic causes during the 1920s. Most of this work was halted when the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Great Depression came along.
By 1932, J.C. had to sell almost all of his holdings to satisfy creditors. Penney was dead broke, spirit crushed, and his health was now suddenly failing him. In addition to his financial collapse, he became a widower – twice! With his back against the ropes, wounded and tired – the equivalent of a knock out, did he pack it in? He easily could have given up. Instead, he checked himself into a Battle Creek, Michigan sanitarium. After hearing the hymn “God Will Take Care of You” being sung in the hospital’s church chapel, J.C. Penney became a born-again Christian.
He left the hospital shortly thereafter and became a changed man with a renewed passion for life. His health and spirit were energized and be started his comeback. By 1951 there was a J.C. Penney store in every state, and for the first time sales surpassed $1 billion a year. This success can be traced to God’s wonderful mercy.
Do you find yourself with your back against the ropes with no answers in sight? Do you need some hope and encouragement? Turn to God! He is the only one that can deliver you from your situation. Not in a bad situation? Still, He can provide you with the contentment and strength you need to endure life. Deepen your relationship with God and trust Him for the outcome of your circumstances.
The world tells us that success in finances means being wealthy or attaining a certain status or living a specific lifestyle, or even having power to influence. However, Jesus influenced not from power, but from weakness. If your back is up against the ropes, He can help you start your comeback! Give it all to Him.