Preparing For Success Requires Tests, Says Tulsa Pastor

September 25, 2000

Dr. William "Hess" Hester, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Tulsa, discussed preparing for success with students in OBU's chapel service, Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Hester said that throughout the Bible, there are examples of those who were unable to handle success and those who had lousy starts, but finished well

He presented the students with the example of the life of Joseph in Genesis 41.

"For 14 years, Joseph was enrolled in Yahweh's school of character," he said. "God was refining him and preparing him.

"Most of you want to be greatly used by God, and the principle we see through the Bible is that those who want to be greatly used will be greatly tested."

There are three tests that Joseph went through that we see occurring in our own lives, Hester said.

The first is the test of standing alone for God.

"God is looking for people who can stand in the furnaces of life that come our way, and take the heat," he said. "Joseph's test was when he encountered Potipher's wife. But Joseph said, 'Not for all the sex in Egypt would I dare break the heart of my God.'"

The second test of Joseph's life was the test of deep disappointment, Hester said.

"God took Joseph through a 14-year course in adversity training," he said. "During that time, God was fashioning his character."

The third test, Hester said, was the test of trusting God and his timing.

"Joseph waited some 14 years," he said. "It isn't easy for you to wait. Waiting requires trust."

Hester and his wife, Julie, have three daughters, Katie, Becca, and Rachel.