[Column] Hold Fast to Your Dreams and Persevere

Hold Fast to Your Dreams and Persevere

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

If we have dreams, it is important to accomplish them through continual perseverance. When we nurture dreams in our hearts, we may at times experience despair feeling as if our dreams had been shattered by harsh circumstances. In times like these, hope must not be shattered. We ought to hold fast to our dreams, persevere, and proceed with hope.

Martin Luther once said, “There are three things that make a Christian—prayer, meditation, and temptation.” In the making of a spiritual leader, not only there must be prayer and meditation but also temptation, trial, and hardship. This is an interesting combination. Once we go through a night, regardless of how dark it is, there comes the dawn. In temptation, overcoming it is important but there is something more important. That is to focus on a more meaningful goal. If you have a profound and meaningful dream, it will enable you to overcome temptation and persecution.

American animator and producer Walt Disney was met with cold reception when he proposed the production of animated films based on his drawings. One day he met a pastor he knew and spent a night in the garage of his church. There were mice running around in the old, dilapidated garage. Ironically, that is when he got the inspiration for Mickey Mouse. In the old garage with mice running around, we would have been hopeless and returned to our home. Wouldn’t you say to yourself, “How have I come down so low as to live with mice?” Disney, on the other hand, had a dream to produce groundbreaking animation films and that dream gave him the inspiration for Mickey Mouse even when he merely looked a mouse. The groundbreaking success of Mickey Mouse did not arise in a vacuum. It arose from Disney’s perseverance while awaiting the realization of his dreams. If we have God-given dreams, hold fast to them, build skills, and move forward, we receive inspirations even from small things.

This happened when I was studying in England. When I go to the library after the early morning prayer service, God would give me an inspiration through a message, “This is it.” Then I would think to myself, “This will make a good thesis material.” Such little ideas came together and I was able to finish my doctoral thesis. The academic panel of judges approved my thesis only with a minor correction of a word. Such a case is very rare. Nevertheless, it happened because I met good professors and sought God’s assistance through prayers in the morning. I prayed every time I wrote dissertations and God blessed me with excellent results. Thus I was able to ascribe all the glory of successful overseas studies to God. We must always have the heart of expectation toward God’s miracle and move forward with patience. When we are confronted with temptation and desire to give it all up, we must pray. There is no miracle for those without the heart of desire and prayer.

There was a man who served 7 years in confinement as a P.O.W. His cell was not big enough to allow a wide range of body movements. An avid golfer, he could only visualize himself golfing. In his head, he pictured himself standing on a golf course, holding his club and swinging. Vividly imagining himself in his usual swinging posture, he said to himself, “the ball has flown 200 yards.” Then something astonishing happened. After 7 years of mere visualizations in imprisonment, he was released. One day he went golfing for the first time in 7 years and played to a handicap of 74. He played much better than he had ever played.

Scientists found in various studies that there is no significant difference between actual physical exercise and the visualization of physical exercise. When you have a goal, it is important to fervently desire its achievement and dream of its fruition. That is the law of “visualization.” If you want to be healed, you must pray for the body that has been healed and see your healthy self. Christians are not just daydreamers but they are the dreamers who see through the eyes of faith: faith that God will heal all diseases and bless our lives.

God greatly uses those who dream. Helen Keller was blind, yet rendered perhaps the greatest service to humanity. She said, “To be blind is bad, but worse is to have eyes and not see.”  She was a person who could not see. Yet she was a person of God who clearly saw her dreams and visions. Rev. Cho also said, “Tell me your dreams and visions and I will foretell your future.” Dreams and visions have the power to determine the ultimate course of our lives.

All of us are called to be the leaders who accomplish God’s purposes. And your future is determined by your dreams. Rather than mere images created in the brain, these dreams are the language of the Holy Spirit and are given us by God. Abiding in the Holy Spirit, we must constantly ask, “Lord. What is the dream you desire from me?” and pray. If you have been given the dream from God, build skills and dedicate yourself in order to realize your dream. Then you will accomplish your dreams some day. When God becomes the Lord of our lives, we enjoy life in which we accomplish what we dream and attain what we desire. May you construct the dreams of God in the open heaven of your heart and be the main character of the dreams.

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