Hopes and Dreams

God has deposited His ideas, plans, and desires within our hearts. He has a beautiful course laid before each of us just waiting to be discovered. Today,
we have in our hearts interests, hopes, and dreams, many of them are truly God given. He is the One Who planted them in us like a seed. Now He expects
us to unwrap them, nurture, feed them, believe and receive them. He wants His plans to become our plans and His ways to become our ways.

One of my favorite scriptures is found in Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm
you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (NIV).

The hopes and dreams that God gives us can be grasped, understood, and cultivated. Proverbs 20:5 says, “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water;
but a man of understanding will draw it out” (KJV).

There can be a host of obstacles and pitfalls to seeing these God-given hopes become reality. One of the most powerful examples of this is the life of
Joseph. As a young man, Joseph received a dream from God. He had no idea the magnitude of this dream yet he embraced it and held on to it through very
trying times. He shared the dream with his brothers and found that they would become the source of one of his greatest challenges.

The dream God gave Joseph would guide him toward delivering his entire family. But in the beginning it seemed to be like a mere fantasy. Genesis 37:5-11
gives us the story:

“Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, ‘Please hear this dream which I have dreamed:
There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed
down to my sheaf.’

“And his brothers said to him, ‘Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?’ So they hated him even more for his dreams
and for his words. “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time,
the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’

“So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, ‘What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother
and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?’ And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind” (NKJV).

Joseph received these God-given dreams that described the deliverance God would bring to his family, Egypt, and Israel. Yet he would face a great deal
of opposition designed to change his course and keep him from fulfilling the dreams. In the midst of it all he would guard his heart and remain on
track and see all that God had showed him fulfilled.

Though we may face a great opposition on the road to our dreams, God can bring it to pass when we keep our hearts free from unforgiveness and bitterness.

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