A dreamer must learn how to handle authority. "From the time [Potiphar] put [Joseph] in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph" (Genesis 39:5). Joseph never abused his authority for the sake of himself. Rather, he used his authority for the sake of others.
A dreamer must learn how to work with other people. "The warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison" (Genesis 39:22-23
). And he was able to get along with those hardened criminals and callused guards.
In Sports Illustrated, Peter King writes, "The New England Patriots were a surprising success in the first half of the 2003-04 NFL season. Despite using eight rookies to replace injured veterans, the Patriots led the AFC Eastern division, with a 7-2 record. Part of their success is due to an unselfish mindset adopted by coaches and players alike. The vice president of player personnel, Scott Pioli, displays a sign in his office that summarizes it best. The sign reads, "WE ARE BUILDING A TEAM — NOT COLLECTING TALENT." If you want to see your dreams come true, you'll do the same thing. Consequently, becoming an effective team player is another vital way to make your dreams come true.
Not only do dreams take time, tests, and teamwork, but also DREAMS TAKE TRUST TO COME TRUE. This final means is the missing secret component for many would-be dreamers. And what is this secret of success? Trust in the presence of the Lord. Four times the Scriptures inform us that "the LORD was with Joseph" (Genesis 39:2-23). That's the real reason why Joseph fared so well. Do you have a relationship with God like this?
The assurance of God's care provides stability. After the whole ordeal was over and his father Jacob had died, Joseph's brothers feared retaliation for what they'd done to Joseph. But instead, Joseph tells them quite frankly, " ‘[While] you intended to harm me, . . . God intended it for good'" (Genesis 50:20). This statement serves as a motto of Joseph's life. Joseph knew that God sent him to Egypt and would take care of him.
Next, the willingness to forgive is necessary. "‘So then,'" Joseph said to his brothers, "‘don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.' And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them" (Genesis 50:21). People are going to let you down. After all, they're only human. And without the willingness to forgive, dreams can become nightmares.
In the book, Sons: A Father's Love, the author recounts the story of Scott who finally called home. He'd been on drugs for the longest time. His family hadn't even heard from him for two years.
Then over the phone Scott explained to his dad that he'd gone through a drug rehabilitation program. There "I met Jesus Christ," he said. "I've been forgiven for my past. I want to ask you and Mom to forgive me, too."
Over the next several days, Scott told his family how he'd seen a vision of Jesus dying on the cross for his sins. Then how when he cried out to Christ for healing, his withdrawal symptoms ended. "I asked Jesus to be my Lord," he explained, "and my life hasn't been the same since."
The change in Scott was so real that before long his parents likewise accepted the new life that only Jesus Christ gives. Therefore, placing your trust completely in the Lord is the best way to make your dreams come true.
In summary, it takes time, tests, teamwork, and trust to make dreams come true.
As I come to my close, there's an old saying, "If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep." I'd also add, don't share your dreams prematurely. Joseph revealed his way too soon before people were ready to hear about them. Don't give up on your dreams either. Joseph could have become depressed. He could have sought revenge. But, he didn't. Furthermore, remember: dreams are contagious. Those with lofty goals inspire others to dream. And never ever make fun of dreams, because they make reality worth all the difficulty. So class of 2006, make your dreams come true, then you'll sleep better at night.
Steve D. Eutsler is Pastor of Living Water Assembly of God.