Broken Dreams

Read: Genesis 50:15-21
Joseph replied, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:19-20).

In the 1950s, a promising running back at Florida State University dreamed of a professional career in American football. But an injury prematurely ended these ambitions, leaving the young man adrift. During that uncertain period, he enrolled in various acting classes, surprised by how much he enjoyed the craft. That young man was Burt Reynolds, who would go on to become one of the most famous US actors of the 1970s and 1980s. Few realize that Reynolds’ acting career began with the death of a dream.

In the book of Genesis, Joseph had a literal dream of success in which his father and brothers all bowed down to honor him. The vision enraged his brothers to the point that they wanted to kill him, but instead they decided to sell him into slavery (Genesis 37:27). To make matters worse, Joseph was wrongfully imprisoned, and his hopes seemed to be shattered beyond repair (Genesis 39:6-20).

But the reality is that Joseph’s enslavement and imprisonment were actually the path to the fulfillment of his earlier dream (Genesis 50:18), for it was through an encounter in jail that he eventually was brought before Pharaoh and made viceroy over the entire empire (Genesis 41:25-40). And it was through his leadership that many people were saved from starvation (Genesis 45:7). What seemed like only a broken dream was in reality the very path through which God lifted up Joseph and saved lives.

Many of us lament the broken dreams of our lives. But as we see in the story of Joseph, God’s plan and power is greater than our broken dreams. His wisdom and sovereignty are so amazing that what may seem like nothing more than a broken dream can actually be something He’s working out “all for good” (Genesis 50:19-20).


What broken dreams do you lament in your life? In what way might God be accomplishing something bigger and better through your disappointment?

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”