When a Dream Becomes a Nightmare

Joseph was pledged to be married to Mary. Matthew 1:20 tells us that he had a dream, and at the time, his dream must have seemed like a nightmare like a nightmare.

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25)

  1. Realize that God has a great plan.

We are born with the capacity to dream, and godly dreams are meant to help us progress, not digress. Joseph’s dream must have shattered his plan with Mary, but God had a greater plan to save mankind.

  1. Demonstrate the strength of your Christ-like character.

Your character is your moral fortitude, the strength that is within you.

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger. “Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were ploughing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:8-22)

The above scriptures describe Job’s strong character. Joseph responded similarly to the dream God gave him. Life always presents us with choices, and they will not all necessary be good and safe.

  1. We must see things from God’s perspective.

Only through sincere trust in the goodness of God can we be willing to look see our shattered dreams as part of the journey to His greater blessings. Matthew 1:20 tells us that Joseph made a decision based on God’s higher perspective. As a result, the nightmare of his reality became a great testimony of God’s provision.

  1. We need to respond with pure faith.

Resist the temptation to question God. He is still in control. If need be, we should stand up for what is right against public opinion. Be willing to embrace God’s plan. In Matthew 1:24-25, Joseph did exactly as God told him.