When the IRS came knocking on the door at Whitaker House Publishing, Bob Whitaker Jr. knew it was serious. But he did not know it was the beginning of an ordeal that would last for 14 years.
I've had the privilege of being friends with the Whitaker family for many years. I've served on the board of Whitaker House, and they published my last three books and my wife's book. They are a business that has stayed on target with their mission, with not only a Christian environment but a kingdom mindset as well.
Yet, despite their devotion to the Lord and a commitment to His principles, they found themselves facing criminal charges from the IRS due to making the poor decision to trust someone who was unknowingly leading them into an illegal trust fund.
"About a year later I was sitting at church, and I just felt God's Spirit telling me something's wrong, something's really wrong," Bob recalls. Not long after, the IRS began their investigation.
"For seven years, this lingered over our heads," he says. "We would go to bed at night thinking we could go to court tomorrow, we could be indicted—we never knew when or if that would happen. We had no idea what to expect. How could we continue to work when we were under this great amount of emotional and physical stress?"
The answer, he says, came from trusting God's Word and believing His promises.
"The greatest comfort I found throughout this season came from God's Word and just knowing I'm enveloped in the promises of God," Bob says. "When I went to bed at night, I'd stick headphones on my ears and play God's word. I encourage everyone to get an audio Bible and play it in the background of your room. Just having God's Word accompany you, whatever you're going through, is the greatest source of strength and peace you'll ever find. The promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus."
Eventually, the charges were reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, but another seven-year battle over penalties and fees began.
"By the grace of God, we were clean and moving on. But that one decision—when we thought we were doing the right thing, we thought we had covered all of our bases—cost us 14 years of our lives. When I look at trials and issues that come up now, they seem so small compared to what we went through back then," Bob says.
"All I can say is God is faithful. God is good. And God takes good care of His kids."
To hear Doug's entire interview with Bob Whitaker Jr. and the wisdom God has given him on handing difficult situations, listen to A Word in Season with Doug Stringer & Friends on Charisma Podcast Network now.
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