When was the last time you had a God-given dream? It may be time to let God put a dream in your heart again and give you contagious hope.

Joseph and His God-Given Dream

“God gave me another dream!” seventeen-year-old Joseph exclaimed to his eleven brothers as they gathered in the early morning light before heading out to their day’s tasks. “Let me tell you about it.”

The brothers glowered at their youngest brother. Already they disliked him more than ever. “This egotistical kid is getting on my nerves,” muttered Levi. The men shifted restlessly as Joseph told them some farfetched dream about eleven stars, along with the sun and moon, bowing down before him reverentially. It sounds like he thinks he’s not only our father’s favorite son, but God’s favorite too. Just last week he had that other dream about sheaves of grain bowing to him. For the most part, the older brothers kept their resentful thoughts hidden, but they began to consider ways to shut up young Joseph for good.

By the end of the month they had eliminated him from the family—or so they thought—and now his arrogance would never trouble them again. This is what happens to self-aggrandizing dreamers, they reflected bitterly as they drove the family’s flocks home from Shechem. Reuben carried Joseph’s bloody coat to their father Jacob, along with the bad news about his apparent demise from an attack of a wild beast.

God-inspired dreams determined the direction for Joseph’s entire life. He went from pit to pinnacle, daring to trust that God was in charge of every dream-determined decision.  Joseph was the epitome of walking in contagious hope.

Joseph proved to be such a capable and trustworthy servant who grew in character and wisdom to carry the strength of his gift. His dreams had tested him and yet they had also taken hold of him. Now he could see what God had intended all along.

Through everything that had happened, God was going to use him to continue the legacy of his family line until the fulfillment of more dreams. Joseph said to his brothers: “As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could pre- serve the lives of many people, as you can see this day” (Genesis 50:20 NET).

God intentionally planted Joseph’s dreams and, knowing the evil hearts of men, had made sure that malicious decisions and disastrous events would work together to bring a miraculous outcome with blessed eternal consequences.

Let God Put Contagious Hope and a Dream in Your Heart

God never lives in the past, and he wants to bring you into the future he has in mind.

He wants to put his dream in your heart. He wants to give you His desires for your life.

Even if you feel that adversity has deadened your heart to the point that it can no longer receive a thing, be assured that your Father can fix that too. Remember that God can open up another chamber in your heart. He wants to do that for you. He can increase the capacity of your heart.

God is ready to resuscitate your dead heart and plant seeds of hope in it.

You don’t have to figure out everything ahead of time. You don’t have to get your act together to prove how worthy you are of God’s attention.

You only need to daringly dream the dream that he wants to give you. Present yourself to him. Here I am, Lord. Open your heart to him, even though it seems as if traumatic events have crushed it.

Now, you might need to tell your heart that it’s okay to dream again. I had to give my heart permission to have desires and longings again.

For the past few years, I have been on a very intentional journey of what brings life to me: discovering hope. After having traveled the world and visited people in high places and then spending time on the backside of the desert, I felt I needed to explore my unfulfilled dreams. I asked myself, Do I still have wishes, hopes, desires that I long to see transpire?

Today, I am exploding with new ideas.

Bucket list? I don’t have one! But I am now starting my own business called GOLL Ideation, including consulting, leadership development, and more. I am even a business partner with two other men in a new restaurant chain and other ventures. I was once half dead, but I am coming back to life!

I launched other new ministry ventures, like the God Encounters Today podcast, and Facebook Broadcast called INSIGHT for the Days in Which We Live.

I have a contagious hope in my heart to become a Renaissance man who can make an impact on all of the cultural “mountains” with explosive Kingdom-of-Light displays!

Called To Do What You Cannot Perform

It’s true that your God-given dreams will be impossible to perform—without him. You will need to listen for his subtle direction in order to keep pace with the Holy Spirit.

You must cultivate a relationship with your Father God if you want to undertake his plan for your future.

What does any good father want with his children? Good communication.

There you have it. The key to moving out of your wilderness time and into something new is your relationship with God himself.

He’s holding the plan for your life, and he wants to help you keep up with him. I’m just trying to keep up with the ever-moving Holy Spirit!

Dare to trust God both to give you a dream and to fulfill it. The Bible is clear that “the one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV).

God has not abandoned you to your difficult circumstances. Decide to drop your crutches and follow your Lord. God’s plans for you may well seem impossible, but you will be going forward on his strength and wisdom, not your own.

A promise is a promise. When he makes up his mind, he stays the course. He engineers circumstances. He sends encouragement. He revives dreams. He infuses hearts with hope. He also provides patience.

Character-building is an inevitable part of the process, and we should welcome it despite the fact that it may not always feel good.

Let God fulfill his particular promises for you, which will differ from his promises for somebody else. We will all be able to learn the same principles from our journeys with God, but our circumstances will not be the same. Don’t dwell on your inability. Instead, help yourself to a good dose of truth from the Word, Psalm 37, for example:

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this…Be still before the Lord and wait patiently…” (Psalm 37:1–7 NIV, emphasis added)

Trust…Dwell…Commit

Steer clear of fretfulness and envy. When you discover that you are starting to get anxious and easily aggravated (or worse), remember that you belong to God. Ask him to help you understand your reactions. Place yourself in his strong hands and repent of trying to take care of your world without him. You can recover your footing with three key words from Psalm 37: 1) Trust,  2) Dwell and 3) Commit.

Trust in your Lord anew. Don’t put the cart before the horse, trying so hard to believe in your expectations regarding God’s promise that you pull back from believing in the faithfulness of the promiser himself. He will fulfill his promises—in his own time and way.

Dwell in God and in his provision for you. Stir up your heart to thank him for everything. He himself is your secure dwelling place, and he will always be there for you.

Commit yourself to him all over again. Confess your fears and put them aside in favor of trusting that he will see you through.

The God who put the dream in your heart promises to fortify you every step of the way. Do you believe that?

Let God put a dream in your heart again. Then you qualify to be a carrier of God’s contagious hope into a world that is waiting for you.

With Contagious Hope,

James W. Goll

This article has been adapted from Chapter 8: “Let God Put a Dream in Your Heart” in James Goll’s book, Tell Your Heart to Sing Again.


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Creating the Culture of Hope

with James W. Goll

James shares truths from the Bible on how God shows us how to bear up when trauma and tragedy strike. He also shares his personal experiences that have brought him through great loss of his wife and his health. God is good and will see us though if we trust him. Watch and be encouraged.