Sometimes, business doesn’t go as you’d like. Sometimes, things don’t happen as you’d expect. Markets change, customers change, technology changes and new innovations can force you into obsolescence too if you don’t change.
The technology industry, in particular, has created many millionaires and many more paupers. Markets can change on a dime and customer expectations can change in a matter of days. More than a few businesses have been caught flat-footed by market changes.
Not all business owners experience unbridled success. I often say that I’m only 3-5 decisions away from bankruptcy. Profitable business is still fragile, especially in a market where the political leaders themselves have little experience in risking their own money to grow a business and have never had to meet a payroll with their own money. It’s a very different world that small business owners live in and most in government really don’t get it. They say they do – they’ll say they understand – but they really don’t. They might be sincere and well-intentioned, but they really don’t “get it”.
Happily, God does “get it”. And when those dark and rainy days come to your business, it’s comforting to know that God, in His sovereignty, knows how far He can push you – He understand how much of a load you can really bear. Do you recall Job? Satan came in and accused God of buying off Job, so God let Satan torment Job – but always put limits on what Satan could do.
I take comfort in this. Only a God who is utterly sovereign over both evil and good can take the trials of life and “work them together for good”. Only a God who is utterly and completely sovereign can take the worst that happens to us and turn it into something good. And when you consider that God loves each of us unconditionally and fully, it becomes difficult to understand why anyone would not want to identify with and give their heart to this God.
In our Christian Business Reference Architecture, at the top of the architecture, we start with who the owner is – what does s/he believe? Is s/he walking with God? You see, if you have Christ in your heart and can rely on Him to work everything in your life for good, it becomes easier to run a business. You’re not alone. You’re not isolated. You’re not wondering how its’ all going to turn out because you understand that in the larger scheme of things, you will be with the Lord and all of the trials and turmoil you face today fades in the light of His glory and grace.
I take comfort in the sovereignty of God, because in His love and sovereignty, I know that He will take the pain and hurt in my life and turn it into that which is good and glorifies Him. If you’re a Christian Business Owner, I encourage you to rest in the sovereignty of God. There is nothing outside His control. Every trial that comes into your life is meant to increase your faith, develop your endurance so that you will be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. So don’t try to rush through those deep trials in life. Learn everything you can during them so that you more accurately reflect the character and life of Christ to a lost and broken world.
And take comfort in Paul’s sage advice in 2 Corinthians 4:
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” h Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Bill English, CEO