Are Your Dreams Faith or Fantasy?

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Every person who has normal health and mental function probably also has hopes and dreams for the future. Whether it is the dream of a really nice house, car, or boat, or of a really wonderful vacation — or if ours are more practical dreams / aspirations, such as getting a useful education, a better job, a safe place for the family to call home — each of us has in the back of our minds one or more goals for the future.

Evaluated carefully, some of those dreams might more accurately be called fantasies — we may dream of them, but we secretly know that they will never be realized. Others can properly be called “plans for the future”, and we fully intend that they become our new reality — some day…

On Being “Delusional”

When children dream dreams, it’s not terribly important to distinguish between fantasies and future plans. Fantastic dreams are a necessary part of a happy childhood. For adults, the situation is substantially different. If an adult can’t differentiate between fantasy and future plans, that person may be accurately described as “delusional.”

Those of us who are absolutely honest will admit that we are each, to some degree, delusional. In fact, a small amount of delusion is probably healthy for each of us. For example, if an average looking woman imagines herself to be a striking beauty, that mental image helps to keep her motivated to take care of herself and maintain her hair, her clothing, and her physical fitness.

People who believe in their mental competency are more likely to use their minds to achieve new things and develop great inventions. On the other hand, those whose mental function is above average, if subjected to ridicule and scorn, may fail to achieve even ordinary success.

Enough of generalized theory, though. Each of us should take a look at our own wishes and dreams. We shouldn’t be so brutal as to eliminate hope for a better future, but at the same time, if we have been blindly hoping for a future which is completely beyond reality, it may be time for our dreams to be realigned.

Let’s Evaluate Our Hopes and Dreams

The great apostle Paul wrote:

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV

You and I (if we haven’t already done it) must do that, too. It’s the first step toward maturity and true success. When we have put away childish things, we should carefully evaluate our hopes and dreams. It’s OK to have fantasies, as long as we recognize them as such. They belong in the same part of our lives as our favorite movies and our favorite novels.

Fantasy can offer good entertainment. It supplies a welcome break from the tough grind of reality. But we must recognize that if we lose sight of the distinction between fantasy and reality, we have crossed a line that no sane, healthy adult should willingly cross!

We could go back in history and list numerous examples of inventors who were ridiculed and scorned by society. They were treated as lunatics, and their concepts as mere fantasies — and yet, we daily benefit from the efforts of those visionaries. We now know that the scorners were the ones who truly deserved the scorn!

Recognizing Reality and Fantasy is Important

Recognizing the distinction between fantasy and reality is important to our success in this life — but it is absolutely crucial to our eternal destiny. Those who have chosen to reject faith in God often ridicule the beliefs of Christian people as superstition or fantasy. They have a right to their opinion, but you and I must be certain that we know — without question — what we believe, and why.

Have you learned to discern between faith and fantasy? Do you actually hope / expect to someday have a wonderful home in God’s heavenly kingdom? Or is that concept on the same plane as the fantasies of science fiction or your favorite genre of fantasy / fiction — provided only as a welcome break from reality?

The Lord Jesus — whose historic life on this earth is absolutely documented, and who fulfilled hundreds of prophesies during that short life — stated with absolute certainty,

“There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too.” – (John 14:2-3 NET BibleĀ®)

But can you be SURE?

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

Are you having doubts? Pray that God will strengthen your faith. Keep praying that prayer. He will grant your request — and you will have confidence that your eternal hope is faith, not fantasy!

Philip Herr has been active in ministry since 1972, beginning in bi-vocational ministry, later moving to full time mission director status. Now retired from industry, he serves a small country church and works part time as a writer / consultant. Philip starts each day with short devotions from daily email devotionals and praying over some prayer requests.

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