What Happens When God Wants You to Give Up Your Dream?
By Rick Warren
“Abraham, when hope was dead within him, went on hoping in faith . . . He relied on the word of God” (Romans 4:18 Phillips).
How do you know when hope has died in your life? You start using the word “never.” I’m never going to get married. I’mnever going to graduate. I’m never going to get well. I’m never going to get out of debt. I’m never going to be able to let go of my past and forget all of that shame and heartache. I’m never going to be able to change. I’m never going to see this situation turn around. That’s when hope has died.
What do you do when your hope dies? Romans 4:18 says, “Abraham, when hope was dead within him, went on hoping in faith . . . He relied on the word of God” (Phillips).
When you are at a dead end, you need the Bible. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Think about it. Write it down on little notecards, and go over it. The Bible is full of promises. You rely on the Word and trust in its promises, and it will revive you emotionally. Nothing else is going to encourage you like the Bible. When you rely on the Word of God, you don’t panic because you’re reminded that even though something is out of your control, it’s not out of God’s control.
A dead end is a test of your faith. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:17a, “While God was testing him, Abraham still trusted in God and his promises, and so he offered up his son Isaac” (TLB). God said he wanted Abraham to sacrifice his son, and Abraham didn’t blink an eye. He didn’t panic because he remembered what God could do, and he relied on what God had promised him.
What happens when God takes your most precious dream and wants you to give it up? Can you do that in faith? You’re at a dead end, and God’s going to deliver you if you give the right answer.
You may be at a dead end now, and it seems there is no way out. But things are never as bleak as they seem. You’re looking at it from the human viewpoint rather than God’s viewpoint.
Romans 4:20 says, “Abraham never doubted. He believed God, for his faith and trust grew ever stronger, and he praised God for this blessing even before it happened” (TLB).
A promise is only as good as the character of the person who makes the promise. The Bible says God cannot lie because he is complete truth. If he makes a promise to you, he’s going to fulfill it. It will happen exactly as he has said. When you’re at your dead end, trust in God’s truth.
Talk It Over
Even if you’re not at a dead end right now, how can you use God’s Word to prepare yourself for this phase of faith?
What promises from God encourage you when you are at a dead end?
How do you think God will respond to someone who turns to his Word when facing a dead end?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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