Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Most of us have dreams about what we'll accomplish in 2008. Some of those dreams will come true. Some will soon be forgotten amid the everyday worries of life. And many of us will find that God has plans for our lives quite different from our own--far greater and better plans, though it may not seem so if our immediate dreams are crushed beneath apparent tragedy.

Dreams and visions play a major role in the story of God's people. Prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah. Daniel saw apocalyptic visions of wars and great powers. John received the Revelation of God's eternal kingdom. Probably the best known "dreams and visions" story is one of the oldest, that of Joseph, son of Jacob. Joseph never suspected, when God first revealed the honors awaiting him, that he would endure over a decade of hardship and low position before seeing his dreams come true. Probably he had many moments when he wondered if God had forsaken him and if he had deceived himself from the beginning.

Our dreams for the future may come directly from God, but that doesn't mean they will be easy to achieve. God plans to do great things through us, but He also plans to do great things in us. He doesn't mean for us to become discouraged or lose faith over the long, hard roads we walk to see our dreams realized. He only intends to strengthen our character by building our humility and perseverance.

The willingness to accept that process separates the true achievers from those who are satisfied to keep dreaming--and never get out of bed.

As Joseph's dreams showed the glory
But not the hard road he would take,
So our minds may not fathom God's timing
As we yearn for our goals that He makes.
Our dreams and visions are from Him:
We must tread the path He will show,
Be content with a light for each next step
And walk on by His side as we go.

As Daniel's eyes saw the visions
That raised in him a holy dread,
So our hearts may be trembling with panic
As God shows us the struggles ahead.
Fear not: from Him is the vision,
And whatever the tests that wait,
He will give us the strength for each moment,
And through us His own deeds will be great.

As John looked up to a future
When all struggles would end at last,
So the day soon will come when our trials
And our pain will belong to the past.
Our hope brings us strength for the present:
God's love will endure to the end,
And we dream of the Kingdom that's coming
Where we'll live with our heavenly Friend.

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