Has Covid Shattered your Dreams?

Has Covid Shattered your Dreams?

Sometimes things happen in life that can shatter your dreams. It makes you wonder if God really did make promises to you, especially if you had pinned all of your hopes onto them. This past year has been filled with an immense sense of loss for us all—the loss of loved ones, the loss of income, and the loss of plans and dreams. Perhaps in 2019, you felt that God had given you a dream, and throughout the Covid pandemic, you have begun to question that dream. When our dreams feel shattered, we can feel a genuine sense of loss, heartbreak and devastation.

Julian and I heard God clearly in the summer of 2019 about starting up a youth event. We both separately heard from God, and several prophetic words were spoken over us to confirm what we had heard. We entered into early 2020 with high expectations for the summer, yet by March, all hope of an event in 2020 was shattered. It would have been easy for us to give up on the dream that God had so clearly given us – to question if it really was God who gave us such a specific dream. Yet as I read the Bible, there are some obvious lessons we can learn together about Joseph and his dream. Through the story of Jesus, we find a framework to help us journey through those times of loss and to help us focus on God, the source of the dream, and the one who ultimately will do all that He says He will.

The story of Joseph starts with a seventeen-year-old boy who had a dream. The full story can be found in Genesis 37. His dream was a picture of his entire family bowing down to him. Unsurprisingly, his brothers were not impressed by this dream, and bitterness and betrayal filled their hearts. At that moment when his brothers tore off his coat, betrayed him and sold him into slavery, Joseph must have felt as though his dream was shattered. Life was not going the way Joseph had hoped or planned, and the dream he once had must have seemed impossible! The story of Joseph is one of immense difficulty, betrayal and injustice. Yet, the redemption and fulfilment of God’s promises at the end of the story offer incredible hope for each one of us. If you feel as though Covid has shattered your dreams, I want to encourage you, through the story of Joseph, that we worship a God who fulfils his promises!

Lessons in The Test

After being sold as a slave, Joseph found himself serving in the household of Potiphar (Genesis 39). He was very successful there, and Potiphar put him in charge of the entire household, everything was in his care. As far as it goes for being a slave, Joseph would have been well looked after and cared for. Despite his brothers’ earlier betrayal, he was able to make the most of the situation he was in and had a lot of success.

However, Potiphar’s wife saw Joseph and wanted to sleep with him. As she tried to seduce him, Joseph refused and fled from the situation. He did the right thing and showed the proper respect to his master, Potiphar. Yet Potiphar’s wife lied about Joseph to her husband and told him that Joseph tried to sleep with her! This resulted in Joseph being thrown into prison.

This is another big moment of injustice for Joseph – despite doing the right thing, he has found himself in prison. His dream becoming an even more distant memory.

Sometimes, life is not fair. Have you ever had a moment where you have done your utmost to do everything right, yet you find yourself in a worse position than when you started? Joseph chose to do what is right, despite the consequences. When you feel as though your dreams have been shattered, still do your best to do what is right. A God-given dream will come to pass, as we will see in Joseph’s story, even if the journey is different to that which you expected. In Luke 11:28, Jesus says Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’ (NIV)

Obeying God’s Word and doing what is right is not always the easy option. It can be difficult and even result in hardship at times, but God blesses those who obey Him. Learn from Joseph to do what is right when you are tested. Remember God’s promise over you, and trust that He will do all that he has promised.

Lessons in The Prison

Seven times in the story of Joseph, the Bible says ‘the Lord was with Joseph’. Two of these times, in reference to Joseph in prison. A prison is a place of restriction and hardship, and for many of us over this past year, we have found ourselves trapped in a multitude of different situations and circumstances. Covid has caused us to be under a variety of national restrictions. Perhaps emotionally, you have struggled over this past year and feel imprisoned mentally. You may have lost your job, and now you have found yourself in unexpected hardship. Even in the midst of incredible difficulty, remember that God is with you. He is with you as your journey through the unfairness and hardships that life can throw our way. In Psalm 23:4 it says ‘even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ We are not promised a trouble-free life, far from it, but we are promised that God will be with us and comfort us throughout the darkest of times.

Even when we do not understand, when dreams seem shattered, we are promised that we are not alone.

The story tells of Joseph interpreting the dreams of two other prisoners, the Cupbearer and the Chief Baker. As they tell Joseph their dreams, God gives Joseph an interpretation for each dream, both of which come true. God can use us even in the midst of the prison. This year, even throughout Covid and the hardships we might face, be encouraged that God still has plans and purposes for you!

Lessons in God’s Timing

The Cupbearer promised to remember Joseph and help him get released from prison, but the Cupbearer forgot Joseph. It is then two years later that Pharaoh has his dream, and the Cupbearer finally remembers Joseph! In those two years, it would have been easy for Joseph to become bitter or cynical. To become disillusioned in the waiting, but Joseph did not. Through his trials, Joseph grew in maturity. There might be a significant period of waiting between the moment you are given a dream, and the moment the dream becomes a reality.

Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream and is appointed second in command over all of Egypt. This happens when Joseph is 30 years old, 13 years after his dream. The seven years of plenty passed, and around 20 years after his dream, the moment comes when his brothers come, and his dream becomes a reality.

So often, when we have hopes and dreams, we expect and want them to happen immediately. We might have a one-year or even a five-year plan. Very few of us have a twenty-year plan! But God sees the whole of eternity. His plans span generations. Joseph would not have been ready to rule the whole of Egypt at seventeen years old. I highly doubt that prison was a part of God’s plan for Joseph’s life, but I know that it did not surprise God, and he works all things together for His plans and purposes.

I do not believe God caused Covid. Yet I do not believe it surprised Him either. The dreams He has given you will come to pass because everything God says is true, but do not be surprised if the journey or even the final destination is different from how you expected. The effect of Covid might make it feel as though your dreams have been shattered, but we have a God who is all-powerful. We have a hope everlasting, and even in the midst of immense loss, darkness and sorrow, Jesus offers us the ultimate hope.


Write down your God-given dream and treasure it. Pray over it, and ask God for wisdom and guidance for the next step. Remember, God has not, and will not, ever forget you.

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