“It was like a dream come true when you freed us from our bondage and brought us back to Zion! We laughed and laughed and overflowed with gladness.”Psalm 126:1–2 TPT
There is such great joy when our dreams come true. Like Mary, we may ponder and treasure a word or dream from God long before we actually begin to see it materialize (Luke 2:19, 51). But as we hold on to those dreams, they have the ability to carry us through the dark valleys of disappointment. Joseph did not go from having a dream to being a prince and ruler overnight. On the contrary, there must be a period of learning to trust, a season of faithfulness and testing. In that season, we learn not to give up on the promises or on our dreams.
On our way to seeing our dreams fulfilled, we encounter difficulties and trials that we never asked for or imagined along the way. And we find ourselves ushered into God’s waiting room, the place no one likes to be. In the waiting rooms of life, it would be extremely easy to lose heart and to forget the dream that you carry. But if we forget our dreams, then it will only remain a dream and no more. We do not have to perceive seasons of waiting as a time of inactivity; instead, we can use them as a time of seeking the Lord for the next step forward.
The Hebrew word for wait can also mean “to be entwined.” For it’s in the waiting room that we begin to learn how to wrap our heart with his, combining our love for him with his love for us. And it’s in the waiting room that we begin to understand that we can trust him against all odds. God never gives us a dream or a promise that he does not intend to fulfill.
The Lord can bring your dreams back around in an instant. Just try to imagine Joseph. He had these illustrious dreams, and then he went into exile. He didn’t just have one waiting room experience; he had three. He waited at the bottom of a pit, faced enslavement under the tyranny of a ruthless regime, and was thrown into a dark, dirty dungeon. If he were here today, he could tell you all about the waiting room. But even after all that time Joseph never forgot his dreams. Instead he learned to swap his fear for faith, his pain for purpose, and his obstacles for opportunity.
Dreams have the power to set our lives in motion, to change our focus, to heal us, to save us, to impart knowledge to us, and change the course of our lives and history. Our Father in heaven does not slumber or sleep, but he works the night shift and says and does some incredible stuff while we’re asleep. The whole of our society has been affected through dreams that may have appeared ordinary to others, but to the receiver who understood it, it wasn’t ordinary at all. And as they meditated on those dreams, they released a whole new world of new discoveries. Books are born, works of art created, incredible pieces of music composed, victories won, and miracles released through the power of individual dreams. Here are some of the things invented because of a dream: the sewing machine, the periodic table of elements, the theory of relativity, books by Robert Louis Stevenson, music by Mozart, Stravinsky, Bach, and others— and the list goes on and on.
Our problem all too often seems to be that when we get an amazing dream or prophetic word, we’re tempted to say, Lord, how in the world can this possibly happen to me? Don’t you know who you’re talking to here? Really! You’re gonna do what? Through me? But instead we need to be like Joseph, who identified with his dreams immediately and made them the passion for his fire for the future. When an amazing dream gets ahold of you, it can be a game changer for you. It has the power to set your life in motion, to change your focus, to heal you, to save you, and even impart wisdom to you. It even has the power to change the course of our lives and history. It can give you hope to hold on to and propel you forward into your destiny.
For example, Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader, had a dream of freedom for all, no matter what our skin color. His dream not only affected him and how he lived his life, but it affected all of us and changed history, releasing freedom and hope for others to carry on. And all because he refused to give up on a dream that seemed impossible to others. What about you? What’s the Father’s dream for you? I (Candice) can remember one dream that I had while I was in high school. I dreamed that one day I would serve others and be a Peace Corps worker. I saw myself going off to faraway places, ministering hope and healing to those in need. But after graduating from high school and while finishing up college, it looked like none of that would happen. It was during that time that I met Brian and we were married. So I set my dream aside thinking that we would probably settle in our hometown, and that would be it.
Just when I had given up, the Lord remembered (as if he forgets) and resurrected his promise to me. A few weeks into our marriage, some missionaries at our home church challenged us to give our lives for the gospel and go to the ends of the earth to reach a forgotten people group. And we were not only able to reach a tribal people with the gospel, but we’ve also ministered in over forty nations. God places no limits on the dreams he gives us. His idea for my dream was much grander than my puny little plans.
May God give you dreams and fulfill your destiny!
Brian & Candice Simmons
The above was adapted from The Dreamer: The Path of Favor, a biblical commentary on the book of Genesis chapters 36-50. In The Dreamer, Brian and Candice Simmons explore the breathtaking story of Joseph—a man who God prepared for great authority and privilege with a divinely inspired dream. Learn how to grow spiritually through every season of life and gain fresh insight from rich footnotes that include comments, word studies, cross references, and alternate translations.
Discover the power of a dream, the purpose of trials, and the true meaning of forgiveness. Let the spirit of wisdom and revelation uncover God’s plan for you.
Additional biblical commentaries on the book of Genesis are also available: The Image Maker (chapters 1-11) and The Blessing (chapters 12-35).
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