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  • 1. I Want to Know ... What is Your Dream?Are you willing to lay hold of your dreams?I’m not talking about a wish — a wish is usually only a passing thought that most people neveract on. But a dream is something that captures your heart and spirit. It ignites your imaginationand fills you with an unquenchable hope. It becomes something you can’t easily set aside.Dreams consume your thinking and fuel your excitement and passion. It can happen in a singlemoment, or it can captivate your thoughts for years. Sometimes when the dream is really big,you embrace it, and somehow it feels like the dream embraces you.Our dreams are often about experiencing a better life, about achieving greater things ... they arepictures we have of the future that reveal a part of our lives that will be greater than the past.It takes courage to dream. Any time you dare to dream, there are risks involved. What if it neverhappens? What if it costs too much? What if people laugh at you?It’s hard to hold on to your dreams. It’s hard to believe when the world and those around yougive you no reason to press in and press on.I’ve been blessed to realize many dreams in my life and ministry, and I’m convinced that adream only happens when two things take place:1. You live with expectant faith that the dream will happen.2. You refuse to let go of the dream — regardless of the circumstances in your life.When God put the dream in my heart to acquire a sports arena as the location for LakewoodChurch, I’ll admit that even at first, I was unsure how it would happen. But I just kept believingGod’s Word. He encouraged me that with Him “nothing was impossible.” As months went by,there were many times when the obstacles and problems outnumbered the possibilities for us
  • 2. to receive the promise He had given us.But during these times, I went to God’s Word and learned something from the life of David. In ISamuel 30:6, it says that David encouraged himself in the Lord.So I made the decision that when circumstances or people said things that discouraged thedreams in my heart, I would go back to the Lord and stand on His promises. Beyond that, Iwould do everything I could to continually express hope, both verbally and in my actions, inwhat I believed God had in store for us.I chose NOT to let go of the dream or give up, but to press on and praise God.I know in my life, I would never have realized some of the amazing dreams that God has blessedme with if it had not been for the encouragement of my wife Victoria. When I begin to doubt orfeel the pressure to let go of God’s best, she is there to remind me of the faithfulness of God,and to speak words of hope, life and encouragement concerning my future.I wish that everyone could have an encouraging voice like that in their life, but sometimes it’snot always the case. In fact, sometimes those closest to you can actually be the biggest“unbelievers” of your dreams.I believe that one thing God has called me to be is an encouraging voice in your life:What’s the vision from God that’s captured your heart, that’s lingered, that won’t go away? Areyou still holding on to it or have you let it go? If you have, the time has come to pick it back upagain and reclaim your dream.Let me encourage you: a dream doesn’t always have to be something spectacular like winningan Olympic medal or becoming president.
  • 3. What’s the vision from God that’s captured your heart, that’s lingered, that won’t go away? Areyou still holding on to it or have you let it go? If you have, the time has come to pick it back upagain and reclaim your dream.In fact, some of the best dreams are seeing your child walk in right relationship with God orexperiencing a restored marriage or having a job that that actually pays you to do what you love.Sometimes a dream is only a picture, an image that we don’t fully understand and requires faithto believe in. God may give you a dream in pieces — asking you to believe. As you take smallsteps in faith, He’ll fill in the gaps along the way.This is what happened in Joseph’s life in Genesis 37. God gave Joseph an unusual dream that hedidn’t fully understand, but Joseph immediately believed. And because of it, Joseph’s brothershated him and his father scolded him. No one believed Joseph, and for years and years hisdream made his life really difficult. Betrayed and left for dead by his brothers, sold into slaveryin a foreign land, alone and afraid, all Joseph had to hold on to was his dream and his faith inGod. But Joseph would not let go of it, and little by little he began to see hints and clues that hisdream was coming true.The challenges you face will require you to make a similar choice — will you leave your pain inthe past to follow your dreams, or will you let these hurts steal your hope of a better life?As I said, seeing your dream come to pass may not be easy, but once it does, it is totally wortheverything you have invested into it.Dreaming and believing for better things in your life and the lives of those around you iscontagious. When you get around someone with the courage to dream, it has an amazingimpact on you.As believers, we don’t put our trust in circumstances or people. Our trust remains in the Lord.God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think. This is what we are
  • 4. believing for, and I am confident that it will happen as we join hands and hearts to offer realhope to people ... hope that can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.Don’t let anything hold you back. Don’t let anyone keep you from dreaming. The dreams Godhas given you are treasures worth living for. They are worth the price, I promise!JOEL OSTEENJoel Osteen is pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas — a vibrant and diverse church thatForbes calls the largest and fastest-growing congregation in America. Joel shares a positivemessage of hope and encouragement that extends all around the world. This message reachesall across America and 100 nations of the world. Joel’s books, Your Best Life Now and Become aBetter You, quickly became #1 New York Times Bestsellers and are distributed worldwide inseveral languages.HOME > HOPE FOR TODAY > ARTICLES > HOPE FOR TODAY ARTICLESHOMEABOUTOur MinistryJoel OsteenVictoria OsteenWhat We BelievePartner With UsJob OpportunitiesBROADCASTThis Weeks Message
  • 5. Watch OnlineBroadcast ListingsPodcastLive ServicesEVENTSA Night of Hope EventsBook SigningHOPE FOR TODAYFind A ChurchJoel & Victorias BlogArticlesMagazineDownloadsPray TogetherShout Your PraiseTodays WordPARTNERSTOREMy AccountMy Shopping CartFeaturedClearanceBooksMessagesMusic
  • 6. DonateTERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYCONTACT USOur MinistryShare Your StoryFrequently Asked QuestionsUnited States1-888-567-JOEL1-800-278-0520 (Customer Service)PO BOX 4600Houston, TX 77210