Hopes and dreams are necessary to live a fulfilling life. The thoughts of our dreams becoming a reality are exciting and motivating. For our hopes and dreams to become a reality we must have faith. However, we are often presented with situations that test our faith to the uttermost. It’s what we do during these times that determines what our reward will be.
I use the word reward because God has a reward system. He designed us to be reward seekers for rewards motivate us to do what is just and right. Rewards give us incentive to live a life pleasing to the Lord. I love God’s reward system and depend on it because I want to live an awesome and amazing life. Isn’t that what we all want too?
As a dreamer, I imagine living a life that impacts thousands of people for the better. I want to have influence when it comes to peoples’ relationships with God and their personal success. I want my life to draw others to the living God who desires all men to be saved and come to the full-knowledge of the truth. I long to see people delivered from sickness, disease, lack, poverty and premature death. Along with that I want to enjoy good things, and that makes having an abundance of money necessary. I hate having money be my decision maker. I hate money being the determining factor of what I can or can’t have; what I can or cannot give. I know that once money flows in abundance I don’t have to pay attention to it. I become the master of money who tells it what to do and not the other way around.
In pursuit of our dreams we are going to face trials. It’s just the way it is. The trials or testing of our faith produces perseverance, and according to the book of James, perseverance makes us perfect, complete, and brings us to a place where we lack nothing. However, the trials we face are not God’s doing, they are Satan’s. The last thing Satan wants is for us to realize our dreams. When we have victories, it strengthens us and we become a living testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Satan does not want that, so he will set up situations to try to wear us down and get us to quit.
So, what do you do when you get discouraged and feel like quitting? I’ll tell you what I do. I get in the Word of God and started filling my mind with what God has to say. The Lord, through His Word, reminds me that He is my Source. I get encouraged by His Word to know that He has bigger and better blessings for me and that I should continue to trust Him and praise Him! What Satan instigates for my defeat, God turns into my victory as I place my confidence and trust in Him. I base this expectation on Jeremiah 17:7-8 (HCSB) which says:
The man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence indeed is in the Lord,
He is like a tree planted by water:
It sends out its roots toward the stream,
it doesn’t fear when heat comes,
and its foliage remains green.
It will not worry in a year of drought
or cease producing fruit.
Disappointments come to all of us. Bad news gets delivered to us even when we are doing everything “right.” However, whether discouragement or bad news, we need to stay the course and lean on God’s Word. His Word will never fail us. He will deliver what he promised, even if it appears otherwise. Remember, God is a rewarder of those who seek him!
What do you do when you get a bad report from a doctor? What do you do when symptoms show up in your body that worry you? What do you do when your bank account is empty and you have bills to pay? What do you do when it “appears” that God isn’t listening to you?
Here is what the Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-10 (HCSB):
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on
the right paths.
Don’t consider yourself to be wise;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil,
This will be healing to your body
and strengthening to your bones.
Honor the Lord with your possessions
and with the first produce of your
then your barns will be completely filled,
and your vats will overflow with
These verses tell us to trust the Lord and not rely on our own understanding. By trusting God and His Word our bodies will be healed and wealth will overflow into our lives.
Satan, the creep that he is, is going to test your faith! He is going to try to get you to distrust God and His Word. He is going to try to steal the promises of God planted in your heart. He is going to try to kill your hopes and dreams and thus destroy your chances of experiencing the victory you long for. He is going to try to get you to say how you feel. He knows when you start speaking how you feel, he can defeat you. You can curse God and let your dream die, or you can confess God’s Word and charge forward until you get what you hope for.
You WILL HAVE what you desire IF you stay the course, build up your faith by meditation on God’s Word, and never give up on God’s promises.
In conclusion, don’t let discouragement get the best of you. Do what God instructed Joshua to do when facing a difficult situation:
“This book of instruction must not depart
from your mouth;
you are to recite it day and night
so that you may carefully observe everything
written in it.
For then you will prosper and succeed
in whatever you do.
Haven’t I commanded you:
be strong and courageous?
Do not be afraid or discouraged,
for the Lord your God is with
you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:8-9 (HCSB)