God Fulfills His Promises In His Time and Way
It was the end of 1982. The recession was officially over and my dreams were officially crushed. As I described in yesterday’s post I was deeply in debt. After months of praying and seeking guidance from the Lord as to what to do about it He gave me this promise,
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I had struggled with whether or not I had the right to ask God to get me out of a mess that was my fault. This verse told me I did have that right. At that time you could buy a house for what I owed. I didn’t want to spend the next 30 years paying off the debt with nothing but a story to show for it, even if it turned out to be a great story! So I claimed the verse as my own and began to pray.
What would you say if I told you God miraculously dumped $100,000 in my lap and I was immediately able to pay off the debt? “Unbelievable!” That’s right, don’t believe it because that isn’t what happened. In all my years of life and ministry I can’t remember even one story of God providing like that. There might be one out there, but most are like mine. Still incredible, but it took just a little longer. Here’s the story of my promise fulfilled by God!
From the moment I claimed that promise God began to change me.
A Promise Fulfilled: 4 Things That Changed While Waiting For God
- I prayed and asked all my friends at church to pray. It’s humbling to ask people to pray for God to pay off your bills. God wants us to humble ourselves 1 Peter 5:6 and asking for help and personal prayer is one way to do that. I trusted God to take care of me.
- I started giving faithfully. When money was tight I justified not giving because I couldn’t even pay all my bills. I realized I needed to give ten percent of every dollar I received to show God I trusted Him to make up what was lacking.
- I worked harder. I continued to sell and sought every opportunity to increase my sales income. A good friend often uses this illustration. If you’re in a rowboat and you see a lightning storm coming, pray hard and row harder 1 Thessalonians 4:11.
- I didn’t give up. I didn’t know how God was going to provide. I purposed that even if it took years to pay off the debt I wouldn’t give up on God Galatians 6:9.
During this time I was dating Margaret. We married May 7, 1983. When you say “for better or for worse” you usually expect the worse to come later. Margaret joined with me at the worst of my financial mess. You know she loved me! I thank God for blessing me with Margaret who walked with me as we saw the promise fulfilled.
When we got back from our honeymoon the owner of one of the companies I represented asked to meet with me. A couple of days later we met and he offered me a job on the spot as the national sales manager of his company. His national sales manager had just quit. He knew I had national sales manager experience and I knew his product line so it was a perfect fit. I prayed about it for about a minute and accepted.
Here’s what happened next. God blessed me like He blessed Joseph. Margaret was working so we primarily lived on her salary. I devoted most of my salary to paying off the debt. God blessed me and the sales for my division grew dramatically while the parent company struggled. At the end of the year I got a big bonus and was promoted. In a year and a half the entire debt was paid off and I was Director of the Wholesale Division of the Lillian Vernon mail order company. Glory to God! A promise fulfilled! Six months later I resigned and went into full-time ministry as a pastor.
I love telling this story because it’s all about God! Whatever your situation, God has a promise for you and He will fulfill it as you walk with Him. There’s no magic formula. Trust Him. Be faithful. Don’t give up!
What’s your story of how God fulfilled His promise to you? I’d love to hear it!