Are your dreams just idle fantasies, or are they giving you hope for the very real future God has promised?
What you dream about can make a difference!
There was a time when my brother and I searched for hidden treasure on the farm, and we certainly left holes everywhere we went. As kids, we spent hours in the hot sun digging. It was not hard work because we shared a common—if childish—dream, and it was real to us at the time. Too many of us have lost the excitement of having a dream.
Of course we have to qualify what we mean by dreams. We understand that some dreams are fantasies—like the imaginary buried treasure of my youth—and are worthless, while some are real hopes and goals that we work for and seek to achieve.
There are also literal dreams, as everyone knows, the kind we have in our sleep, and they can be pleasant—as when some of us dream of flying—or they can be sad or frightening. Some people even believe that these dreams can have spiritual or prophetic importance—and this can definitely be the case, as we will see.
However, no matter what form or definition they take, dreams are significant—and very important in the Bible. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18; KJV). When there is no vision, some might even say no hope for a better future—no dream—people become discouraged.
And sometimes, when our hopes or dreams—however good—become unattainable for various reasons, we must learn to change our hopes, and find a new dream that ultimately makes life worth living. This is not always easy, but the Bible offers a way to do just that, with an ultimate goal that can give hope in the darkest of times.
There was a very special dream—one that came to a man in his sleep, was filled with prophetic meaning, and predicted the coming of a Savior whose life and work represent the greatest “dream” of all—and it is very soon to become a reality!
The Book of Daniel reveals: “Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him” (Daniel 2:1). The story goes on to tell how the king wanted someone to interpret the dream and finally asked God’s servant, Daniel. And by the awesome revelation of God, Daniel was able to tell the meaning: “Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision” (v. 19). The dream of Nebuchadnezzar, inspired by God, was interpreted through a dream, also given by God to Daniel. Daniel’s dream detailed five world ruling “kingdoms” (governments), with the final one to be an everlasting kingdom. History shows that the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires have all come and gone—and that one more remains: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed…” (v. 44).
Reading about these dreams can help revitalize ours, if we “have ears to hear.” They show us a future greater than any buried treasure—a true pearl beyond value (Matthew 13:45–46). Four kingdoms have come and gone. The fifth is on the horizon.
In the New Testament, Peter’s sermon on Pentecost reminded the people of the prophecies of Joel: “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams’” (Acts 2:16–17).
Spending all your energy digging for physical treasure, or sitting idly waiting for the lottery, are futile pursuits. However, visualizing a world of peace can be the best medicine you can take. That world will come about whether we participate or not. So, why not blow the dust off of your Bible and capture a true dream, one that Daniel prophesied years ago and that you can be a part of?