The 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews is often called the Hall of Faith chapter. It reiterates the heroes who acted by faith and witnessed mighty workings of God. Not all would be considered successful by today’s definition of success, for some suffered harsh treatments and cruel deaths in their journey through life (11:35b – 39), but were still successful in the plan of God, for they fulfilled their purposes.
One of these heroes of the faith that is mentioned is Joseph. He had a dream, he told that dream (Genesis 37:5-6) and through time and circumstances unforeseen that would seem to have destroyed that dream, it still came to pass. The thing that sustained him during the disappointments of life is seen in the phrase, “the LORD was with Joseph”.
We never read that Joseph doubted, nor that God ever spoke to him during his ordeals, but he seems to have been sustained by the remembrance of his dream. So much so that at the end of his testing, when he became second in command over Egypt, he could say to his brothers, “…ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good,” Gen 50:20 KJV. Joseph’s dream sustained him as did God’s promise to Abraham of a city whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10).
Dreams are what hopes are made of. When we have something to look forward to,we have hope for the future. Hope for something better for ourselves, our families, our nation. This does not mean we are to be passive. Abraham did not just ‘sit and wait’ for the promise to be fulfilled. Three times the fact that ‘Abraham believed God…” is recorded. I imagine that there were times when Abraham reflected on God’s promise to make of him a great nation. Perhaps, late at night he gazed into the heavens as saw the stars and remembered the promise that his descendants would be ‘as the stars in number”. All those mentioned in this chapter actively responded by faith and they saw God work.
Dreams sustain us in times of disappointment. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Prov 13:12 KJV. That period of time between disappointment and the desire coming is a time when faith is being tested. It is at such times that we must learn to “see Him Who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27).
So, dream your dreams, even if they are never realized, for dreams are like love in that it is better to have dreamed and lost, than never to have dreamed at all.
HAVE FAITH IN GOD was written by B.B. McKinney in 1934. When we remember that this was during the Great Depression, we can understand what encouragement this hymn gave to many.