The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Dreams from God are a unique way the Lord chooses to communicate with people. Although the Lord speaks to us primarily through His Word and the Holy Spirit, dreams from God are not uncommon. Every person experiences dreams during their lifetime. Some people can remember their dreams in detail, while others may not be able to recall much.

Perhaps you have received a dream from the Lord or have prayed for one. If the Lord gave you a dream, how did that impact you? There are thirty-one dreams in the Scriptures, with ten being in the book of Genesis. Jacob and his son, Joseph, each received two dreams recorded in this first book of the Bible. Dreams can be symbolic, give guidance, warnings, or give a glimpse of something in the future.  

Joseph’s Dreams

When Joseph was seventeen, he received two significant dreams from the Lord. Both dreams were symbolic and would not be fulfilled for many years. Joseph’s dreams came true in the Lord’s timing, impacting him and his family.

Genesis 37:One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. Soon, Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” [1]

God Continues to Give Significant Dreams to People

Scripture tells us that the New Testament era will be a particular time of giving people dreams. Acts 2:17 In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.[2]

I believe God desires to speak through dreams to give encouragement and insight. Perhaps you’ve never received a dream from God, or at least didn’t realize a dream was from the Lord. Here is a process that has been helpful for me:

  • Pray and ask the Lord to give you a dream.
  • Expect the Lord in faith to answer your prayer.
  • When you wake up, ask the Lord to help you remember a dream from Him.
  • Keep a dream journal and write it down.
  • Pray again and ask the Lord for meaning.

Remember, any dream must match up with God’s Word. If a dream contradicts God’s written Word or encourages you to take action outside the character and nature of Jesus, it is not from God.

To hear more about dreams from God, listen here:

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 37:5–9). Tyndale House Publishers.

When blessings come in raindrops is the storyline in the song “Blessings – Laura’s Story.” Laura Elvington wrote the song, explaining how blessings often come in hard times. Perhaps you have experienced a similar blessing during life’s rough seas.

In our Bible story, Leah had several healthy children but felt unloved by her husband, Jacob. Her life was far from perfect, but that did not mean her life was without blessings. The Lord would refine her life, and Leah would not be the same person at the end of her life when she gave birth to her children. Leah’s children would be part of the twelve tribes of Israel, and through her son, Judah, Jesus would be born many generations later.

Blessed in Difficult Times

The Bible tells us that the Lord disciplines those He loves. Proverbs 3:12For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. [1] You may wonder how does an invisible God discipline us? Scripture gives us insight into how the Lord does just that. Hebrews 12:As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?[2]

This Bible verse tells us that the Lord disciplines us through the circumstances of our life. Those circumstances could be our sins or the sin of others. In the end, we must trust the Lord’s correction will help us and lead us to a closer relationship with Him. I lost my job during an economic downturn, but the Lord brought me closer to Him. In hindsight, it was God’s divine intervention, although it did not seem so divine at the time.

Turning to the Lord in Difficult Times

Remember, the Lord loves you no matter the circumstances. I am a parent, and I can’t imagine offering my son as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of every person. Yet, the Father did this when Jesus died for our sins on the cross. That is a love that is hard for us to fathom. Jesus even died for those who despised Him. With a heavenly Father that loves us like that, we can turn to Him no matter what we are experiencing.

Jesus knows what it is like to suffer and walk in our shoes. He did all of this so we could come to His throne in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. [3]

To hear more about when blessings come in raindrops, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Trusting in God’s timing is a theme throughout the Scriptures. Abraham and Sarah had to wait twenty-five years for their son Isaac to be born. The people of the Old Testament waited for the coming of the Messiah. David waited fifteen years to become king of Israel.

As our lives unfold, we spend a fair amount of time waiting. We wait in line at the store, for a doctor’s report, to get married, or to have a child. An older person may be waiting to go to heaven. Although we don’t like to wait, there is value in waiting. God does some of His best work in our lives as we wait on His timing.

We may think we are just waiting, but the Lord has a purpose for our waiting. King Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3:1For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.[1]

When I Struggle with God’s Timing

I don’t like waiting, but it usually has unexpected consequences when I don’t wait on God’s timing. This is true not only for me but for everyone else, also. In our story, Rachel could not become pregnant and decided she had a better plan than the Lord.

Genesis 30:1When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her, I can have a family, too.”[2]

Rachael, in her impatience, would not make her life better by having a child through Bilhah. Rachael is just a microcosm of what we all experience when we take matters into our own hands instead of waiting on God’s timing.

God’s Timing Builds our Faith

Our Lord knows everything, but our sight is limited. God sees the big picture, but we can only see what is in front of us. As we wait on God’s timing, we begin to see the wisdom in the Lord asking us to wait.

Simeon waited a lifetime to see the Messiah, and one day the Lord guided him by the Holy Spirit to go to the Temple in Jerusalem. Luke 2:29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” [3]

The Lord kept His promise, and that strengthened Simon’s faith. Where in your life is the Lord calling you to wait? Think about the good the Lord is bringing out of this season, which may not be evident right now.  

To hear more about trusting in God’s timing, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

Overcome jealousy with thanks. You may not have thought of this strategy, yet it is effective. There is a remedy to jealousy. Leah and Rachael had married the same man, and Rachel was jealous because Leah had children and she did not.

Genesis 31:1When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” [1] The two sisters turned childbearing into a competition that was not helpful. In retrospect, what could the sisters have done differently?  

Being Thankful

When I struggle to overcome an issue in my life, like jealousy, there is nothing wrong with going to the Lord with my struggle. I can pray that He would help me be an overcomer. The first step to moving away from sinful habits is to confess our wrongs to the Lord.

Philippians 4:13For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. [2] God, in His mercy, is always there to help us when we struggle with issues in life. Think of your relationships. How could you be thankful instead of jealous?

Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! [3] What if Rachael had focused on being thankful for Leah instead of jealous? What if you got up each morning and were grateful for three things? How would that change your attitude?

Appreciate Others

How can you show appreciation to another person? When someone is kind, we have an opportunity to thank them. As we offer our gratitude to others, the Lord is helping us fulfill the commandment of loving one another.

According to Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Languages of Appreciation,” there are five main ways to show appreciation in public or at work: 1) appreciating through words, 2) giving tangible gifts, 3) spending quality time, 4) doing acts of service, and 5) appropriate physical touch.[4]

How would following these basic principles help you be thankful instead of jealous? As children of faith, we should be forever grateful for Jesus, who died for our sins on the cross. 1 Thess. 1:16Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. [5]

To hear how to overcome jealousy with thanks, listen here:

[1-3,5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.


Look to God and not circumstances. This is a lesson the Lord would like us to learn. With all that is happening worldwide, many people are having difficulty coping. You may be in a situation that seems like it will never end as you look down at your problem. There are times when we feel that our circumstances will never change. We cannot look beyond our troubles that seem to turn our lives upside down.

Leah, the wife of Jacob, felt unloved and thought if I have a son, my husband would love me. Leah gave birth to three sons, yet her husband, Jacob, still did not love her. Genesis 29:35 Once again, Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!”[1] Leah’s circumstances did not change, but she began to look up and praise the Lord.

Fix Your Thoughts on Things Above

Sometimes the way we think about our circumstances is what holds us back. When we hold on to negative thoughts, it clouds our hearts. If we believe our situation is hopeless, we miss what the Lord could be doing in our life. But God has given us the mind of Christ.

Philippians 4:8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.[2]

An older woman in our church was once vibrant and involved in personal ministry to others and now was homebound. Looking up to the Lord in this new season, she became a prayer warrior interceding for others. In God’s mercy, He reassigned her to a ministry that would make a significant difference in the lives of others. She blessed me as she prayed for my ministry.

Being Thankful

During World War II, Betsie ten Boom was in a concentration camp but always looked up to the Lord in difficult circumstances. One day she noticed a tiny flower growing near the fence around the camp and took time to meditate on its beauty. Her circumstances had not changed, but the flower was evidence of God’s beauty.

Matthew 6:30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. [3] As we begin to be thankful, it begins to lift our spirits as we focus on the Lord and not ourselves. Remember, as a believer in Jesus, you are a child of God. One day the Lord will take you to heaven for all eternity in a perfect place. The Lord loves you so much that He gave His life for you on the cross. The Lord is always thinking about you and is aware of your situation. Our life is temporal, but eternity with Jesus is forever.

To hear how to look to God and not circumstances, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

God sees our problems when we think nobody cares about us. Our enemy satan continually tells the lie that God does not care and is unaware of our problems. But nothing could be further from the truth. The Scriptures contain stories such as Leah’s, where the Lord knows her difficulties.

Genesis 29:32 So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” [1]

The Lord sees our pain and has experienced pain. During the days of Noah, humans were so wicked that He sent a flood to destroy everyone except Noah and his family. Genesis 6:The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.[2]

The Lord Keeps Our Tears in a Bottle

Psalm 56:You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. [3] When we feel the pain of being unloved, we feel isolated and lonely. The antidote for the pain we are experiencing is not drugs or alcohol but to fill up with God.

As we meditate on the Scriptures, we realize that God watches over us, cares for us, and sent His Son to die for us. This is not a God who is far away but One who dwells in the heart of every believer. Jesus sees your pain when no one else does and knows your misery when your life has been turned upside down. God understands your thoughts as you ponder the difficulties you are facing. He knows your weakness and how the enemy uses those against you. Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. [4]

The Lord Treasures Our Prayers

God sees every tear and disappointment. Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. [5] He sees all and knows all. The Bible also tells us that the Lord hears His children when they call for help. Psalm 34:17The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. [6]

While we sometimes struggle to believe the Lord hears our prayers or sees our problems, He continually reassures us through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit. As we meditate on God’s Word, He strengthens our faith to help us believe what He has written is true.

To hear how God sees our problems, listen here:

[1-6] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers.


God loves the unloved, giving insight into the Lord and how He sees you. The Lord tells about His great love and sacrifice for you. John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [1]

You may have grown up in a home where you did not feel loved or may be in an unloving marriage. It is not a pleasant experience to be in a relationship where you don’t feel loved. As people, we long to be loved, especially by our parents, grandparents, and our spouse.

All relationships would be loving in a perfect world, but that is not our world. You may have a loving spouse, but your relationship with your parents may still bother you because of that lack of love. My father was such a person, but God mended that scar and enabled him to be a loving parent and spouse.

Leah Felt Unloved

Jacob wanted Rachel to be his wife, but Laban tricked him into marrying Leah first. A week later, Jacob married Rachel after promising to work another seven years for Laban. Leah’s father’s flawed character and manipulation resulted in her entering a marriage destined for trouble. Genesis 29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children.[2]

God loved Leah and gave her a special gift of a boy. Genesis 29:32She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” [3] Although Leah’s circumstances did not change, she realized the Lord had seen her misery and blessed her with a baby boy.

The Lord Brings Healing to the Unloved

The God who created all that you see, hear, and touch loves you personally with unconditional love. Sometimes it is just good to meditate on how much the Lord loves us. The Lord loves us and wants to have a relationship with us and help us fulfill His plan for our life.

You may have regrets and are running from God, but He still loves you and wants a personal relationship with you. God’s word tells us that He loves us no matter how messed up our lives are. 1 John 3:1See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.[4]

To hear how God loves the unloved, listen here:

[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

God works through sinful people in the Bible and our world, showing the Lord’s patience and long suffering. The Lord does not need our help, but in His infinite mercy, He involves us in His work even though our motives are not always pure.

Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his oldest daughter Leah when he thought he was marrying Rachel. Genesis 29:25 But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?” 26 “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27 “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.” [1]

The Lord Wants to Work Through You

Although we are sinful people, the Lord gives us many opportunities in our lives to be used by Him to build His Kingdom. We may have experienced significant failures that affected us and others, but that does not mean God can’t use us in the future.

In many ways, the Lord uses our failures and brings good out of them as we turn our lives over to Jesus. The former drug addict or acholic is used mightily in God’s Kingdom daily to minister to people in the same place they once were. While visiting a prison in Honduras, I met an inmate functioning as an in-house chaplain. God does not waste any of our mistakes and can use those missteps in our life to refine so we can be helpful in His work.

God Has a Plan for Your Life

In our story, God had a specific plan for the lives of Laban, Jacob, Leah, and Rachel. The Lord would use these people to help build the future nation of Israel. We may question how the Lord could use us because we are far from perfect, yet He does. As we place our faith in Jesus, He transforms us.

Galatians 2:20My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.[2]

Is the Lord calling you to trust in Him so He can work through you in ways you never thought were possible? Over time Laban, Jacob, Leah, and Rachel would be refined and not be the people they once were. God does the same for us. I am much different than I was forty years ago, yet God did not wait until today to engage me in His work. He does the same in your life. Take time to rejoice in how the Lord works through you, no matter your flaws. 

To hear how God works through sinful people, listen here:

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 29:25–27). Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ga 2:20). Tyndale House Publishers.

Jacob needed faith without scheming. He had spent most of his life making manipulative plans. First, he bought the birthright from his brother Esau for a bowl of soup. (Genesis 25) Then his mother, Rebekah, helps him concoct a plan to impersonate Esau and get the firstborn’s blessing. (Genesis 27) At this point, angry Esau wanted to kill Jacob.

Then Jacob is sent away under the pretense of getting a Godly wife. On the way, he has a dream of a staircase to heaven. In this dream, God renews the covenant He had made with Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac. Even with this fantastic dream, Jacob wants to be in control and responds with a conditional vow. He will only follow God when God follows through on His promises.

Even when he meets Rachel at the well, Jacob wants the other shepherds to leave. I think he does this so that he can be alone with Rachel. He is still scheming and manipulating.

Discipline Through Life Circumstances

God needs to prepare Jacob for life’s tasks, and He will do this through difficult circumstances. First, Jacob must learn to serve. This includes setting aside his desires for the will of another. Jacob will learn this by working for Laban. After this lesson, Jacob will be able to set aside his will for the will of God.

Second, God teaches Jacob how it feels to be on the receiving end of deception. Jacob had always focused on what was best for him. Now he was probably a source of laughter for Laban’s friends because he didn’t even realize he was marrying the wrong girl.

Third, Jacob will learn to wait. It will take 14 years of hard labor under his father-in-law for his two wives: one wife he wanted badly and the other he never wanted. After 14 years, he will be a different man. Jacob will be able to trust God with faith instead of scheming.

Faith to Follow God

Hebrews 11:1 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.[1] Faith is trust that God knows what He is doing even when we can’t see it. It is trusting that God has the plan, and I don’t have to manipulate and scheme to form the plan.

God had a plan to send Jesus, and He would do this through the family of Jacob. Now, we can’t scheme our way to eternal life; we can only trust that the blood of Jesus paid the price for our sins. God still uses life circumstances to discipline us and build our faith.

To hear about faith without scheming, listen here:

[1] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188

Laban’s reprehensible deception had short-term success but long-term consequences. Yes, he got both daughters married off and another seven years of labor from Jacob, but at what cost?

Short-term Victory

Leah appeared to be the less attractive sister. Genesis 29:17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. [1] We are unsure what Scripture means when it says that Leah’s eyes were weak. Perhaps she was cross-eyed. Whatever the problem was, it made Leah less attractive. How could Laban get her married off? Bride doweries were significant, and there would not be one if no one wanted to marry her.

Jacob, for all his faults, appears to be a good worker. Seven years of labor for a bride price was high, yet he was willing to pay it for Rachel. As Laban considered the problem of getting Leah married, I think a devious plan developed. Women wore veils over their faces. The sisters probably had similar body shapes. Weddings were a great time of celebration, and wine flowed freely. Perhaps he could get Jacob drunk enough, and Leah disguised enough that in the dark, Jacob would not discover the substitution of one sister for the other.

I think Laban knew Jacob would be angry, so he had planned to allow him to marry Rachel the following week. Of course, Jacob would have to agree to work another seven years to pay off the second bride price. This was another bonus for Laban, more free labor.

Long-Term Costs

At this point, Jacob nor the sisters would trust Laban again. More than likely, Leah and Rachel had experienced similar things with their father as they grew up. This kind of deception would not have been a one-time thing. Laban needed Leah to cooperate in the ruse. What lies had Laban told each of his daughters? We don’t know, as Scripture doesn’t say.

Laban also set up a marriage situation where the sisters would compete for the love of Jacob. This would go on to affect not only the daughters but the grandchildren. Laban’s actions were highly self-centered, making him appear not to care about the family life of his grandchildren. This action of Laban would help set up the contention between Joseph and his brothers.

Discerning Between the Short-Term and Long-Term

Each day, we all make decisions and need to discern what is best, both for the short-term and long-term. Each of us has desires, but our actions affect others. We are to love God and love others. Philippians 2: Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.[2]

Jesus is our model for our attitude toward others. As we move forward in our life’s journey, we need the wisdom from Jesus to discern how our short-term actions will play out. We need to have the love of Jesus to overflow with love for others.

To hear more about short-term success but long-term consequences, listen here:

[1,2] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188

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