Your Dreams Come True
by Tom Brown
Paul had the Olympics in mind when he wrote 1 Corinthians 9:24,
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but
only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
We should run to win, not simply finish. Olympic
hopeful, Kwan, wanted badly to win the gold. She graciously accepted the bronze
for this yearís Olympics, but her heart was set for the gold, and that is the
way it should be with us. Some people have the win/lose philosophy: Sometimes we
win, sometimes we lose, sometimes the game gets rained out! No, we should live
our lives to win.
"But thanks be
to God, who always leads us in triumph" (2
Corinthians 2:14 KJV).
God doesnít lead us to lose. He leads us into triumph,
God never made a failure! Failure is man-made. We should have
a winning attitude.
An Olympic runner doesnít start at the blocks and hopes,
"I hope I place fifth." Of course not. He goes for the gold! You
"But not everyone wins," you may exclaim!
but in our race we compete with no one. God puts everyone one of us on our own
track. This means that everyone can win, as long as we all run the race marked
out for us. Many get off of their track and race in someone elseís course.
Stick with your course and you can win!
Look at the next verse and youíll find that discipline in
necessary to succeed:
"Everyone who competes in the
games goes into strict training" (1 Corinthians 9:25).
To make your plans work you must be willing to discipline
your life. If you think sticking to your plans will be easy, then you are
Make your plans long range, yet with many short-range
increments. For example, if you desire to lose thirty pounds, then set a
short-range goal of losing ten pounds in the first month; then eight pounds for
the next month; seven pounds for the third, and five pounds for the final fourth
month. This way you can be encouraged by your progress every month and still
reach your final goal.
Make your goals tough enough so that it takes effort, but
realistic enough so that you wonít be discouraged. It would be foolish to plan
to lose thirty pounds in two weeks. You probably wonít make it, and as a
result become discouraged. On the other hand, it would not take much effort to
plan to lose thirty pounds in three and a half years. With no challenge, youíll
become a blimp real soon.
Olympic athlete is willing to work nearly every day for many hours, eat foods
that are tasteless but nutritious, and give their life to their sport, because
they know it takes arduous discipline to win.
Anything worthwhile does not come cheap. Anything valuable
will cost you much. Realize that!
Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was
willing to sacrifice to get his business started, so he lived in his automobile
in order to start his chicken restaurant because he couldnít afford a place to
live and finance his business at the same time. Not only was he willing to give
up comfort, but he started the fast-food restaurant after he retired. Youíre
not too old to have a dream!
You must be willing to sacrifice unimportant things in order
to accomplish your goals.
You must also have direction. 1 Corinthians 9:26 goes on to
say, "Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do
not fight like a man beating the air." Here the apostle says that the race heís running has
direction. He is not running aimlessly or beating the air, which has no value.
people are working on perspiration instead of inspiration. They
are working hard, but they arenít going anywhere. They are like the person
peddling a bike on a stand, but the bike isnít moving forward. Hard work is
necessary, but hard work without direction is profitless. Some people glorify
sweat instead of creativity.
I live among some of the hardest workers in America, yet most
live under the poverty level. The reason: theyíre working without a strategy.
They labor, toil and plod along without a course.
Your plans must have direction. Working a plan with direction
will keep you on your path. Is what you are doing actually advancing you to your
purpose? or is it drawing you further from your dreams? Donít run aimlessly or
beat the air; find an objective for your labor, and go toward it.
Finally, you must have determination to follow your plans. 1
"No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I
have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
Paul did not want to be embarrassed by dropping out of the
Paul says also in 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought the good
fight, I have finished the race." There is nothing more embarrassing than
to start a project only to give up. Donít allow your flesh to overrule your
life. You must beat your body and make it your slave. This means you must not
give in to the weakness of the flesh. The flesh can become tired and discouraged
when it faces obstacles. But those obstacles provide you with opportunities to
strengthen your faith.
faith becomes strong when you strive against those difficulties. Faith is like a
muscle. You develop muscles not simply by eating nutritious foods, but by
exercising. Some Christians think that they can have strong faith simply by
feeding on the Word of God. But this is not true. Faith comes by hearing the
Word of God, but it does not develop strength by the Word alone.
James 1:3-4 says,
"Because you know that the testing of your faith develops
perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and
complete, not lacking anything."
Your faith is tested through hardship.
Read carefully these words: Your faith does not become strong
through trials, it only becomes strong when you overcome the trials.
traditional Christians have erroneously been taught to embrace trials. In other
words, "Accept your trials, accept the problems you are going
through," they often say. "Learn to cope with your problems."
But God has called you to be a "world overcomer"
not a "world coper." You are not to accept your difficulties as if
they came from God; you are to resist those situations as coming from Satan. He
is the tryer of your faith.
A trial can be compared to a weight barbell. Imagine yourself
lying on your back and having a heavy barbell placed on your chest. Do you
become strong by allowing it to stay on your chest? No! You become strong when
you push it up and away from you.
Your faith works the same way as your arms. Your faith
becomes stronger when you push the trial away from you, not when you allow the
trial to stay on you. So in the end, trials can be beneficial, if you fight
will have many trials when you pursue your dreams. So donít be surprised. Just
overcome them. Use the stumbling blocks as stepping stones to greater
Ice Cream Cone
Many years ago, a man bought a little ice cream stand at a
state fair. The hot weather boosted sales until the man ran out of bowls. He
approached other ice cream vendors, asking for bowls, but none were willing to
part with theirs for fear of running out, too.
Dejected, he walked back to his little stand to close up for
the day until he could purchase more bowls. Walking back, he spotted a man doing
poorly with his waffle stand. After all, who wanted to eat messy waffles on a
He had an idea! The ice cream man asked the vendor to sell
him the entire waffle stand. The man agreed.
He joined together his newly-acquired
stand and his ice cream stand. He immediately began to make waffles, shaping
them into cones. He increased his price and started selling the worldís first
ice cream cone.
What appeared to be a setback turned into a stepping stone!
Sometimes periods of crisis are simply opportunities in disguise. Donít miss
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