Four Things We Can Learn from Joseph, the Dreamer

One of my favorite biblical accounts is Joseph’s story (Genesis, chapters 37-50). Like me—and perhaps like you—Joseph was a dreamer. So, his brothers taunted him, ridiculed him, and even wanted to kill him because of it.

“Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” (Genesis 37:19-20 NIV)

But God had given Joseph the ability to dream. God had a plan and purpose for him.

Here’s a much condensed version of the story …

Instead of leaving him to die in the cistern, the brothers sold Joseph to merchants who took him to Egypt where they sold him to a high-ranking Egyptian named Potiphar.  Because of his excellent service, Joseph became the supervisor of Potiphar’s household.

However, Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, and when her advances were rejected, she falsely accused him of attempted rape. Joseph, although innocent, was cast into prison. While there, he became known as an interpreter of dreams, and for his wisdom, Joseph was made a ruler in Egypt, second only to the king.

When famine struck, it also affected Joseph’s homeland, forcing his brothers to visit Egypt to buy grain. Joseph was willing to forgive his brothers and provide them the needed grain. 

What can we learn from Joseph’s life?

1. Don’t give up on your dream, even if things don’t start out well.
Joseph’s dreams didn’t initially make him an honored man. Instead, his dreams got him into a lot of trouble. But that didn’t stop him.

2. Don’t give up on your dream, though others don’t support it.
Joseph’s brothers actually wanted to kill him because they felt so threatened by his dreams and status with their father.

Your friends and family may not understand your dream. They may not show any interest. They may be blunt about their feelings and that can hurt. But if God has planted that dream deep in your heart, let it grow and bloom. Anything that comes from him is NOT a waste of time.

3. Don’t give up on your dream, though your journey is full of surprises.
Who would have thought that Joseph would have experienced all that he did? Even to the point of being put in prison?

4. Don’t give up on your dream, though it takes a lifetime to fulfill.
It took twenty-three years before Joseph’s dream was fulfilled. But in the end, he reconciled with his brothers and saved a nation.

Never give up on your dream!

When working toward making a dream reality, how do you handle discouraging situations or negative comments?



  1. Good word, Dawn. As for dreams...I like to have a plan to see my dream fulfilled but hold it loosely should the Lord overshadow it with His own.

    1. That's so wise, Mary! I believe God puts dreams in our hearts, but sometimes his version of the dream can be different than ours. Sometimes the journey there includes an unplanned route. We need to trust that his path and destination is so much better! ;-)

  2. Nice share, Dawn. Yes, Joseph dealt with a lot, and was forgiving for all he went through.
    It's true the Lord has our course in life mapped out, and we just have to seek Him to follow
    His will, and our dreams.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Diane. I appreciate you stopping by. Wouldn't it be nice if God just handed us the map? But part of our spiritual growth is trusting that he will lead us down the road - and part of the fun is discovering the destination. ;-)


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