6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermon Illustrations

From George Foremans book -God is my corner

“Ultimately your belief in God will meet resistance, which forces you to either shut up or speak up.”

After giving his testimony at Robert Schuller’s church, the Crystal Cathedral, he panicked when he discovered it would be broadcast nationwide. “I didn’t want people making fun of me, and no desire to be fodder for some late-night comedians’s routine.”

Two incidents in his past popped into his mind to increase the fear. Some of his girlfriends came to watch him box in Canada. One girl mentioned that she had recently talked with a star baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Guess what he told me? she asked, rolling her eyes, “He said he’s been born again.” The other girl laughed and said “You better get out of my face with that junk!” Before he had found religion they admired the guy. Now they were making fun of him.

The second event happened after his sisters had gone to an Al Green concert. When they got home one sister said, “We went to hear Al Green tonight, and the music was great. But then he got up and started talking about God.” In disgust she placed her hands on her hips and snapped, “I didn’t go to that concert to hear a sermon! I go to church when I want to hear a sermon.”

Because he couldn’t stand the thought of being ridiculed in front of a camera he resigned his television contract as a boxing commentator working with Howard Cosell. He never wanted to be seen in public again. He spent the next few months in church, praying and reading the bible reprogramming his mind. Courage is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of it. He said, “Finding Jesus Christ was the best thing that ever happened to me, and my life gets better every day, so I’m going to tell my story regardless.”

He called the two girls who made fun of the baseball player and told about his conversion. He was surprised to hear her say, “I’ve been trying to get my life together, and that’ want I needed to hear.”

Many people were thrilled he found God, others didn’t like him because of it. “I wasn’t surprised when I lost some friends. He would call and leave messages and they wouldn’t call him back.

George overcame the craving for people’s approval by making his desire to please God greater than his urge to make others happy. He found his acceptance in God, not in people.