Believe in Your God-given Dreams
Joseph’s story in the Bible has always inspired young people. He was just seventeen years when God gave him dreams of greatness. But it took several years before those dreams were fulfilled. From his life we can learn several lessons about achieving success.
Dreams Are about Possibilities
The first thing to note is that dreams talk about possibilities in life. They help us to think big. When you have a dream from God, you will not look at your limitations but you will look at God who is bigger than all your problems. It is God alone who can help your dreams become real. When you succeed by achieving your dreams, it will bring blessing to lots of people too.
Dreamers Are Hated
Joseph was hated by his brothers because of his dreams (Genesis 37:8). It was clear that his dreams spoke about a future day when he would rule over his brothers. This was something that Joseph’s brothers simply could not believe or accept.
The point is that when you have a God-given dream it can make people close to you hate you. This is because a dream speaks of future greatness that is going to come to you. When people look at your humble circumstances today and think about the big things that your dream represents they feel like making fun of you. Therefore it is important for you to believe in your God-given dreams in spite of people hating you.
When Dreams Seem to Die
One day the young man Joseph went searching for his brothers. When they saw him coming, they planned to kill him. They were saying, “Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”* Can you imagine this? Joseph was about to be killed because he believed in his God-given dreams.
But can dreams die? If it is God-given, it cannot die! Joseph’s brothers thought to end his God-given dreams. But since his dreams were not his idea, but God’s, God saved his life that day. Instead of being killed, he was first put into an empty pit and then sold for twenty pieces of silver.
He was sold to a caravan of Midianite merchants coming that way with their camels loaded with spices and going down to Egypt.
Imagine what thoughts might have crossed his young teen mind as he sat as a slave, sold by his own brothers, to be carried away into a foreign land! Joseph might have thought, “This is the end of my dreams.”
Yet that was just God’s special caravan to take Joseph to the land where his dreams would be fulfilled! Even though it was Joseph’s brothers who sold him, it was God who was controlling the situation.
When bad things happen, keep trusting God. Even though you do not see how God is working, he still is working to make every bad thing work for your good. One day, when you look back, you’ll find that the bad things that happened to you were the steps that took you to the throne that God had planned for you.
Towards the end of the true story of Joseph, we find his brothers come to him to say sorry for and ask for forgiveness for all that they had done to him. Then, in his classic reply, Joseph said: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.*”
Joseph had faced rejection, false allegations because he said NO to temptation, and was put in prison even when he had done no wrong. Yet wherever he got the opportunity he did hard work and used his God-given wisdom and gift to interpret dreams and give their meaning. This took him to greatness. In one word he is an example of a man of excellence.
*Genesis 37:19, 20; Genesis 50:20 Bible NIV 1984
Read more on Joseph and his dreams: Old Testament Walk Through: Genesis 37—50