Summary: God used Joseph as an instrument to demonstrate faith, forgiveness and salvation.

Text: “Now Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more” (Genesis 37:5).

Have you ever had a dream? We have probably had many dreams during our lifetime. Some dreams are very exciting and relaxing while others are very frightening and scary.

When you dream of a vacation or going to visit someone you have not seen for a long time, the dream is one of excitement. If you have been away from the love of your life and you dream about a reunion, you are thrilled and you anticipate the meeting. Those of us who have lost loved ones have dreamed of the good times of the past and we relive those times through dreams.

Sometimes our dreams are very frightening. Have you ever dreamed that you were being chased by someone and no matter how fast you try to run you cannot seem to get away? Have you ever dreamed you were falling at great speed and soon you would crash to the ground? Suddenly you wake up when you roll off the bed onto the floor. Fortunately you did not fall very far, and you give a sigh of relief after you open your eyes.

What are dreams?

The dictionary tells us that dreams are a series of images, ideas, and emotions occurring in certain stages of sleep (The American Heritage Dictionary).

When we daydream, we are in sort of a trance and we are concentrating on some hope or ambition or something of beauty. We are present and awake, but our mind is in another world. We see, but we do not hear what is going on around us.

We might be daydreaming or thinking about a project we are working on, or about how wealthy we could be if we just followed a certain course: what we are going to do tomorrow or next week; changes that are going to take place when we get married; the vocation or profession we would like to follow, etc.

A dream is a vision and we have all had dreams and visions. Dreams and visions are not bad to have. They help us to look forward and encourage us to push forth and attain certain ambitions and goals. Dreams help us see ourselves as we would like to be.

When I was a young fellow in youth fellowship at our church, I admired the preacher. At times, the youth would be given the opportunity to carry forth the Sunday service. I was always the one to deliver the message. This was the thrill of my life.

Each Sunday as I sat out in the congregation and listened to the preacher, I would visualize myself in the pulpit. Many times I could not even tell you what the message was about because I was in a trance or daydream state. I was seeing myself and listening to myself instead of what the preacher was talking about.

Have you ever had a dream or an idea that you shared with someone and they tried to discourage you? I have really never had this happen to me, but I do know families who have discouraged their children by telling them their dream was ridiculous or impossible.

Perhaps some parents do this to their children because they themselves have never reached their goal in life. Just because they failed in life, these parents believe their children are no better and will follow in their footsteps.

To a child of God all things are possible. Paul’s words to the Philippians are: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Children believe that all things are possible. If adults could think like children then they too would believe that all things are possible.

Children keep trying to accomplish a task until that task is met. A child learning to ride a bicycle will try and try regardless of how many times they fall. Our great-granddaughter learned how to do cartwheels and stand on her hands because she was convinced it was possible.

My grandson was using my computer long before he could read words. Yes, he would make mistakes, but I kept encouraging him to try again. I never heard him say, “Grandpa, I can’t do this.” After a very short time, he said: “Grandpa, I don’t need your help, I know what I am doing.”

Adults do people, young and old, and great disservice when they tell them their dreams and ambitions are ridiculous, impossible, and will never become reality.

Story: “A Dream for God”

Many years ago a young man had a dream of telling the story of Jesus everywhere in the world. When he suggested taking that good news to people, an older man said, “Sit down, young man. If God wants to save the heathen, he will do it without your help or mine.”

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