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Dreams to Reality
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Are you 17? Do you dream of doing something big? Do some people "hate" on your dreams? You're not alone.

Do you like to dream? Is there something big that you want to do in your future? Do people around you encourage you to follow your dreams? I hope they do! You have to understand, though, that sometimes there can be consequences to dreaming big—that’s what we learn from the story of Joseph.

Joseph at age 17 dreamt big. But when he told his brothers about his first dream, they couldn’t believe that he would even dream of one day being bigger or better than them. Their father, Jacob, only made the brothers more furious when he gave Joseph a beautiful new coat made of many colors. Imagine that Joseph, just a teenager doing his chores, would someday be a great leader of a large nation. He was a young person of the Bible, not because he’s in the Bible, but because he was following the will of God, the Author of the Bible.

Are you a young person of the church or of the Bible?

What’s the difference? I’m glad you asked. A young person of the church only attends church. They come to church, but they don’t really want to be there. A young person of the Bible wants to worship, wants to be involved. And if they think church is boring, they find innovative ways to excite the ministry.

Joseph was a young person of the Bible. Because of his dreams and their jealousy, his older brothers rejected him cast him into a pit, and sold him to his cousins, the Ishmaelites. (They were related through Abraham’s two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Joseph was from the line of Isaac.) Joseph’s cousins then sold him as a slave in Egypt, a place full of strangers and foreign gods.

Joseph must have felt pain as he was rejected by his family and taken away from his home. Yet Genesis 39:2 says that “the Lord was with Joseph and he prospered.” God didn’t leave His young friend to suffer alone. He stuck with him through the hard times.

It’s painful to hear some young people’s stories of broken homes and rejection by those closest to them. You may have unreliable family and friends, but stay focused; there is a friend—God—who will be with you just as He was with Joseph. As a young person of the Bible, you will have to deal with a lot of issues. And like Joseph, you will have a chance to overcome.

When Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, Joseph took the initiative to learn the language, the science, and the culture of Egypt and became successful. Here’s an important point: Joseph never became Egyptian! He was able to live in his environment without being conquered by it. How are you able to live in your environment and not become like it?

When Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph to sin, he not only passed the test with God, but with Potiphar also. Joseph was supposed to be killed for sleeping with Potiphar’s wife, but Potiphar knew Joseph didn’t do what his wife had accused him of. Joseph’s integrity showed that he was different and had higher standards.

Instead, while Joseph went to prison to pay for Potiphar’s wife’s accusation, he prospered there, too. He interpreted dreams for the king’s cupbearer and baker. Two years later Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret his dreams.

Before Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, though, he gave God the credit for his gift of interpretation. Then, when Pharaoh saw how God used Joseph, he put him second-in-charge of Egypt. How hot is that? After years of working as a slave and being in prison, now Joseph held the second-highest position in Egypt. How did it happen? He was faithful in the little things, and God blessed him with bigger responsibilities.

God not only used Joseph to save Egypt from the famine, He used him to save his family and the people of Israel, too. His brothers came to Egypt to buy food for the family. Joseph spoke the Egyptian language to deceive them, but he ended up seeing how sorry they were for rejecting him. They repented, and he forgave them.

Joseph’s family reunited, and Joseph brought them to Egypt to live. And when Jacob died, the brothers thought Joseph might seek revenge. Instead, Joseph encouraged them with what had happened : “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20 NIV). With forgiveness declared, the family lived in unity and prospered too.

How will you allow God to turn your dreams into reality?

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By Philip Wesley II. Reprinted with permission from Insight Magazine, May 20, 2006. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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