Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

It is easy to get discouraged. Especially when you look around and your situation is not what you thought it would be.  It appears to you that your dreams have failed.  The visions of success you had as a young man or woman are nowhere to be found.  Have you ever felt like that?  Maybe you believed you would have a higher position in your company by now, or that at you would have a larger salary. Perhaps you don’t feel appreciated and aren’t getting paid what you think you deserve.  You never started that business you always dreamed about.  The people around you seem to have everything they want in life; success, money and acknowledgements. You think that you’ve missed God’s best for your life.  You think that God can’t use you because you are not good enough.  You ask God, “why won’t you bless me?”It’s time to put this thinking away. Thinking like this is pure deception. God does have a plan for your life and you are in the perfect position to be used by him.  He has blessed you, but you can’t see it when you compare yourself to those around you.If you are going to compare yourself with someone, try Joseph.  I mean, talk about big dreams getting smashed.  Joseph’s dreams revealed to him that he would eventually be lord over all his family, even his father, the great Jacob.  His brothers made sure that didn’t happen and threw him in a pit, then sold him to slave traders. If something like that would happen to us today, we would walk away from God and claim that he failed to keep his promises.But God’s ways are not our ways.

Joseph kept his faith, though I’m sure he was a bit confused as to why God would had given him his dreams.  Joseph, now a slave, put his whole self into his work. He was living Colossians 3:23. Because of his extraordinary work, Joseph climbed the ladder and was promoted to head servant.   Now he was starting to get somewhere.  Yeah, he was still a slave, but he was in charge! Along comes Potiphar’s wife.

Betrayed by a liar!  If I’d been Joseph I would have been so angry with God.  “I was wronged!”  How is it that evil doers seem to win and those, in the right, get punished?  This was the case for Joseph. Faced with temptation, he made the moral choice – the right choice. (He didn’t buy into the lie that “he deserved this.”) Still he was sentenced to prison.  Lower than ever before and even farther from his dreams, Joseph kept believing that God would use him.  “And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.”

Of course we all know the rest of the story; Joseph interprets a dream for the cup-bearer, who in-turn forgets his promise to mention Josephs plight to the Pharaoh. Two years pass by. The cup-bearer finally remembers Joseph.  Joseph interprets the Pharaohs dreams and is put in charge of Egypt!  (That was when Egyptians still liked their leaders.)  Joseph was in charge of the whole country!  Finally! He made it!  He’d “arrived.” “His ship had come in.”

We look at Joseph’s story and see how Joseph took 2 steps forward and 11 steps back. God used some very frustrating circumstances in Joseph’s life before realizing Joseph’s dreams.  But the final step in Joseph’s journey is not the only point to his life.  Joseph made a big difference EVERYWHERE he was placed.  When a slave, he worked as if he was working for the Lord. God used this to make a difference in Potiphar who, “Realized that the Lord was with Joseph.”  In the prison “the Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” God also made Himself real to the Pharaoh who “gave Joseph a new name Zaphenath-paneah” which means “God speaks and lives.”  All around Joseph’s shattered dreams, people witnessed the hope of God because Joseph honored and believed God.

You may not think you are the success story God wanted you to be.  Change your thinking and let God use you where you are. When He is ready to use you somewhere else, He will move you.  Don’t believe yourself to be a failure when God has placed you exactly where you are for His purpose.  Wherever you are, go after His purpose with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  Live as one who has the hope of Christ.
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9 responses to “Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

  • Bryan

    I love the story of Joseph, especially his comment, "What you intended for evil, God intended for good." Yes, we need to be used where we are…and if faithful, God assigns greater responsibility.

  • Cathy

    Thank you for this post, Alden! Really spoke to my heart tonight!If you are going to compare yourself with someone, try Joseph.–I love that! Yeah, instead of comparing myself with friends or "more successful" people, I should look at Joseph. He's become God's light wherever He was placed. I know God's calling me to become like that too, wherever I am now.Thanks so much for the encouragement! God bless you brother!

  • Alden Schoeneberg

    Joseph is a great reminder that God works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. It's tough, but we realize that, not only does God have a different way for us to live, but He also has a very different definition of success and failure.

  • Alden Schoeneberg

    Thanks Cathy. I appreciate the comment. You too, Bryan.

  • Susan

    I could have. I would have. I should have. I let go of "dreams" a long time ago, when I found out that other people's needs are more important than my selfish desires. I think Joseph's faith is something we should all strive for. Knowing that God is at work in whatever we do. When circumstances disallow "dreams", it is best to be content with God's purpose – no matter what it is.

  • Krisi

    This really hits home for us right now. Even though we know God is working in our lives, it's still easy to fall into the trap of wanting things to be how WE think they should be, without even realizing we're doing it. This is a good reminder that we need to be still and let God work. Glad we saw this! 🙂

  • Alden Schoeneberg

    Krisi, I think we live in an impatient culture. We can't help but be affected by it. More now, than ever before we need patience and perseverance as we serve God exactly where we are and let Him – really let Him – bring the blessing in His time.

  • Tracy

    I think the real challenge is determining if they are "our" dreams versus God's dreams. Joseph knew the dream was from God. His challenge was the patience for God to bring it to fruition in His timing. He followed the journey faithfully which is all God calls and equips us daily to do.

  • Alden Schoeneberg

    That's true, Tracy. And I wonder sometimes about Joseph and his dreams. I can imagine that he may have been tempted to doubt that his dreams were from God. If he did, it didn't affect his service. He kept serving God even though those dreams were unfulfilled. We recognize here that his belief was on God and not his dream. It's a good example for us to follow, I think.

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