When God wants to work in your life, he’ll always gives you a dream – about yourself, about what he wants you to do, about how he’s going to use your life to impact the world.
There are many examples in the Bible of this — God gave Noah the dream of building an ark. God gave Abraham the dream of being the father of a great nation. God gave Nehemiah the dream of building the wall around Jerusalem.
How do you know when a dream is from God or when it’s just something you’ve thought up yourself? The Bible tells us that God,
“by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Ephesians 3:20 LB)
In other words, if a dream comes from God, it will be so big in your life that you can’t do it on your own. It also will never contradict His Word! If your dream is something that the Bible speaks against, it’s not from God.
He may be speaking to you now, but you just don’t recognize it for what it is. That dream you have – the idea, the concept – that thing you’ve been thinking about doing and would be of real benefit to other people, where do you think that idea came from?
God starts with a dream as he builds faith in you.
God Blesses Those Who Are Put Down Because of Him
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT).
Taking a stand for God won’t just impact you and those you care about in this life. It’ll have an eternal impact.
When you’re afraid to speak up for God in your everyday life, that’s natural and normal. But it’s also temporary. That fear will just stay with you for a few moments.
The benefits to courageously speaking out for God will stay with you for trillions and trillions and trillions of years.
Jesus says this in the Sermon on the Mount: “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT).
Notice that these verses don’t say you’re blessed if people put you down because you’re being obnoxious. I hear many people who complain about being persecuted for being a Christian when actually they’re put down because they’re just not being nice to others.
You get no credit for that.
But if you’re persecuted for humbly speaking up for truth, Jesus says you can be happy. Why? God will reward you in heaven.
When you get to heaven, I want you to have a lot of rewards. I want you to be rewarded because you had the courage to stand up at work and say, “I am a believer in Christ. I know not everybody agrees with this, but he’s changed my life and I’m so grateful. I don’t serve him out of duty; I serve him out of love. I’m just so grateful. My past has been forgiven, I have a purpose for living, I have a home in heaven.”
When you get condemned, persecuted, and teased for doing that, Jesus says you’re in good company. People have done that to God’s witnesses and prophets for ages and ages. It’s part of the deal. Darkness can’t stand the light. Evil can’t stand goodness.
But when that happens, Jesus says, “Don’t worry about it. You’ll be rewarded for your courage in heaven.”