“Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you’” (Gen. 41:39, NIV).

I like Genesis 41:39 because it shows God’s power and what He can do, especially in this abbreviated version on the story of Joseph:

Joseph lived with his father, Jacob, and 11 brothers in Canaan. Jacob made Joseph a coat of many colors, and God gave Joseph two dreams. One day, Jacob asked Joseph to take food to his brothers who were taking care of the sheep. When Joseph arrived, his brothers, except for Reuben—the oldest, and who wasn’t present—sold Joseph into slavery. Later, Joseph’s slave master took him to Egypt and sold him again.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7, NKJV).

As I prepared for a final exam during my senior year of college, I became overwhelmed with worry about how I would do. My degree would be in Early Childhood Education, so I sought my grandmother Helen’s guidance, since she was a retired teacher. She comforted me with this Bible verse and spoke of the many times she turned to it in times of fear. It’s been more than 20 years since this conversation, and I still hide these words in my heart.

Referencing this verse, the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC) says, “Genuine Christianity doesn’t produce cowards” (vol. 7, p. 329).

A rendering of the new high school addition

Story by Vicki Swetnam

God has blessed Ohio Conference's Spring Valley Academy (SVA) with unprecedented growth over the past several years. With an enrollment nearing 500 this school year, the current facility is at maximum capacity. As SVA completed the first phase of the Fritzsche Center for Worship and Performing Arts in 2018, it became clear that the next project needed to address the need for more classroom space. Plans began for a new high school addition along the southwest corner of the existing facility.

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Ps. 139:14, NKJV).

Dear Child,

You delight me! I love you because I made you! I crafted you as my masterpiece. Every fabric of your being was meticulously made by Me. You are beautiful and priceless, because My hands create masterpieces.

My child, you worry too much about vanity and earthly possessions, but I am coming back to make you new—to fully restore you. Therefore, why do these things matter? Let go of your worldly worries for a moment and bask in My precious presence. I created you to enjoy My peace, My joy, My love!