Dreams

Dreams. There are so many kinds of them. There are the ones that you get while taking a nap in class and the kinds that you get when you get woken up by your teacher. What’s the word for that again? Oh, I believe it’s called a “nightmare”. 😛

Then there are those that you see in movies, you know? The kind that you struggle to understand? *cue Inception music* 😄 But what about those that you’re having right now as you’re reading this? Maybe you have a dream, and it’s not the kind that you have while sleeping. Instead, it’s the kind that keeps you from sleeping, because you’re just too excited about them.

Well, a wise man I know once said, “if you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” I have dreams too. And if there is something I’ve learned from the Bible, my Pastors and the history of my church, it is that dreams require patience, hard work and faith. But believe me, dreams do come true.

We just have to allow ourselves to go through a journey with our dreams! Let’s look at Joseph in the Bible as an example. From his story, we can learn that the journey of a dream goes through 5 stages – birth, delay, death, resurrection and fulfillment.

1. Birth

Joseph had a dream. He knew in his heart that one day, he will be an official, much like the Prime Ministers of our modern day. Do you have a dream? If not, get one and hold on to it.

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

2. Delay

Soon after Joseph told his brothers about the dream that he had, they got jealous of him. They threw him into a pit and sold him away as a slave. Because of this, Joseph’s dream got delayed for many years. Though most of us here will not be sold as slaves or anything like that, we must not be discouraged by delays and frustrations that will come when we chase after our dreams. Dreams do not come to pass overnight!

“Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.” – Genesis 39:20

3. Death

You might think that having our dreams delayed is bad enough, but more often than we would like, our dreams get dashed too. Joseph after becoming a slave stayed a man of character and honor. However, he was thrown into jail! That must have been the lowest moment of his life. He must have felt that his dreams were no more.

We might go through seasons when we doubt ourselves, when things just don’t seem to go the way we intended it to. We might even go through a huge setback like Joseph, and feel like our dreams are dead. But you know what? God will use these times to train us and build us in our character. We will learn to fight discouragements. Dream on!

4. Resurrection

As we keep our character and our dreams, God will remember them. Don’t forget that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life. He was crucified and killed, but He didn’t stay dead. He rose again on the third day! The problem with life is that it is has a way of killing our dreams. Sometimes, we just let our dreams die and stay dead. We must know that just like the God that we serve, our dreams will also be revived as long as we keep the faith.

If you feel that your dreams are dead right now, don’t stop believing. Stay true to your character and stay true to God. Joseph, despite being left in jail, continued to keep his heart pure and even cared for others enough that he would interpret their dreams for them. I believe it is because of the way that he responded to the death of his dream, that God revived it.

5. Fulfillment

And most of you would know the story. Eventually, Joseph helped to interpret the dream of Pharaoh and was promoted to become the Prime Minister of ancient Egypt. You know what we can learn from this? It is that when we make the dreams of others come true, God will see our character & heart and make our dreams come true.

So what is your dream? If you have a dream, go tell somebody about it. Find people who will encourage you, cheer you on, and even help you fulfill that dream. If you don’t have a dream, get one! And get a big one. Dreams will change the way you think, the way you act and the way you live. Dreams will change your life. I have a dream, and it is for this dream that I wake up every morning full of joy and full of purpose; it keeps me going.

Dream on, reader! 😉

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Pain

Pain. It is something that can come in many forms. It could come in the form of a sickness or a discomfort; you know the kind of feeling that you get when you have a fever or the sore that you have after exercising for the first time in a long while? Or how about that sensation that you feel at your fingertips after playing the guitar for an hour? Accidentally stubbing your toe against something? That’s pain.

Yet beyond all that, we know that pain can also come in less physical forms of disappointments, discouragements and rejections. I’m sure that you and I have had a fair share of all that. But I guess only those who has been in pain will understand it. And only those who understand pain can relate to those who are hurting.

So in a sense, could God use our current pain for a future purpose? Because it is true that we connect to others not by our strengths, but through our weaknesses; that we relate to others not by our personal gains in life but by our personal pains in life. So maybe God can use our pain for a greater purpose – if we have the right perspective and allow Him to do so.

Besides, if there is one Person that we should use as the ultimate example of pain with a purpose, it is Jesus Christ! He was nailed to the cross for the remission of our sins. He was betrayed, He was tortured, He was humiliated, He was abandoned. He went through the most physical, emotional and spiritual pains and suffered more than any of us just so we can be set free. Yet after all these things, He is perfect, He is alive and He is all powerful.

Maybe right now as you’re reading this, you’re in the midst of a painful season in your life. Never think that no one understands your pain. Because even if the people around you don’t, Christ does.

Before I conclude this last post for the week, let me just say one final thing. Pain never lasts. Sometimes it feels like forever, sometimes it might even really take forever to subside. But trust in God and one day sooner or later, He will bring you through it. Jesus came to loose the chains of eternal pain in our lives, and essentially also – eternal death. Of course, I pray that as much as possible, you do not experience pain in your life. But if it does happen, have faith.

And also, remember that there is always the possibility that your pain could have a purpose. At times, your pain can even make you stronger. Out of painful experiences, victors can be made. Go ask any Olympics champion if winning was ever easy. I think we all know the answer. Pain can either drain you, or train you. Choose what it does.