Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. – Psalm 105:19 NLT
Apparently, God values our character development as much as He values our dream fulfillment. For us, dreaming is the easy part.
For Joseph, it meant an epic elevation. As glorious as that seems, it took years to unfold and it took a toll on his family.
Yet, in the midst of his brothers’ deadly schemes and a host of unexpected turns, Joseph grew through his character tests. The details of his story are found in Genesis 37-50.
But Joseph is not the only one with a dream attracting drama.
In a few days, we’ll observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Racial equality and social justice were his aspirations.
However, his peaceful approach was often met by hostile local authorities, angry mobs and numerous arrests. No shortage of drama there.
But Dr. King was determined and his dream ignited a vision for the nation. We wondered if freedom could ring, regardless of the color of our skin. We imagined how society would thrive, if we each focused on the content of our character.
Dr. King’s dream cost him his life, but he left a powerful legacy. Because…
If we have a dream, we’ll eventually have drama. But if we have determination, we’ll eventually see the dream fulfilled.
It’s a chilling premise and the great promise of destiny. However, when a vision forms in me, I get all giddy inside. My heart beats with anticipation — until the dream is tested.
Then my heart wants relief and the drama begins. It plays out on the stage of my mind or in conflict with someone else. But each test reveals my dream readiness, which is not to be confused with being worthy to have a dream.
Christ demonstrated our worth on Calvary’s cross, so we could demonstrate His power in our lives.
Is there an aspiration you treasure or some mission you hold dear? If so, you may have already seen your share of the dramatic.
In my experience, it often stems from what feels unfair, what’s misunderstood or who feels threatened by the dream.
The drama may erupt in our relationships or work environment (like it did for Joseph) or it may come as an onslaught of opposition (like it did for Dr. King).
Yet it’s important to note these distinctions:
God tests us, but He never tempts us. (James 1:13)
He disciplines us because He loves us. (Proverbs 3:11-13)
He assesses us, but never abandons us. (Hebrews 13:5)
And He completes the good work He began. (Philippians 1:6)
My testing ground contains difficulties I’d rather avoid, but it develops the attributes my character needs. As I grow through each test, I cling to God’s promises. And when I prayerfully enter His Presence, the drama is released and I’m more determined to persevere through Him.
By the time Joseph’s dream was fulfilled, his heart was filled with the knowledge of God. As Dr. King left this life, he handed his dream to future generations to pursue. Because God-given dreams are not just about the dreamer. It also includes His plan to spread hope for the heart and joy to the soul.