Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sun. May 4, 2008 (Ron Penner)

Dr. Ron Penner (President of Columbia Bible College, former professor at the Fresno Seminary) spoke on "Keys to Overcoming Adversity". Of the many stories in the bible illustrating how believers addressed adversities in their lives, Ron focused on the account of Joseph (Genesis 37.1-8), a 17-year old trouble maker who grew up to become the Prime Minister of Egypt by age 30. Joseph was raised in a dysfunctional family, the 11th of 12 sons, in a pre-literate society, pre-10 commandments. Sharing his dreams with his jealous brothers was foolish, leading to his first main adversity: slavery in a foreign land, faced with a new language, and working for one of Egypt's toughest captains and executioners. Joseph did not settle for doing the minimum to survive, but instead learned the language, culture, city economics, and came to help his master's household flourish. When framed by Potiphar's wife, he was jailed (not executed, suggesting Potiphar suspected she was not telling the whole story). Even in prison, Joseph adjusted, helped and encouraged others, and made the best of his truly adverse circumstances. He was freed eight years later, rising to great power in the world's leading economy. Even when he could have been a corrupt politician (like so many others) or when he could have taken revenge on his brothers, Joseph rose above the temptations. Ron gave us several things to contemplate this week. (1) Parents should never give up on their children--never. (2) Like Joseph, we should continue to listen to the voice of God within us (whether it is a random thought, a word from someone or even a dream or verse). (3) We should carefully guard our integrity, not compromising our moral or ethical standards. (4) We should make the best of what life presents us (whether we are slaves or politicians), and (5) we should learn to be patient, for adversity does not disappear quickly. Joseph was in jail 8 years, but eventually was given an opportunity to live a different life. [JEK] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday May 4th using your browser's preferred media player.



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