The American Dream versus the God Dream

September 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Personal Growth

Lately, many of our church people have been beset by foreclosures and financial problems beyond what you’d expect in this recession, plus losing a key person, identity theft, legal problems, citizenship problems, a car catching on fire on the freeway, a stroke, cancer—I don’t want to add any more. And we’re a small church!

So let’s all sing the chorus: Why does God let bad things happen? In some cases we’re partly to blame; in others we’re not. But in all cases God certainly sees our bad experiences from a different perspective—one that we can see only if we deliberately make the effort.

Bad experiences can cause people to become bitter and turn their backs on God, who according to the American Dream, is supposed to make us happy. On one hand, I wish it were so. But on the other, I’m learning to see beyond the American Dream to what I call “the God Dream.”

I am convinced that no matter what causes bad things to happen, “the God Dream,” or God’s intention, is that through them we would draw nearer to Him, depend more on Him, live a more God-oriented life, and see that from heaven’s view, adversity may lead to good things and that what we consider good may lead to bad things—like when life goes “well,” we tend to forget God. Bad experiences are what God uses to draw us closer to Him. I don’t like it either, but it’s true, isn’t it?

God also promises that in all things He will work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). So when you face hardship, give your worries up to God and expect, truly expect, something good to come out of it.

PRAYER: Father, I take my trouble today and put it in Your hands. I leave it there. And I trust You to do what You promise in Your Word.

“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28 NET.

Today’s devotion is by Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power. A rising new voice on connecting with God, he is a pastor, Bible college teacher, and conference speaker. Visit him at for his inspirational “Connections” and free downloads of articles, parables, short stories, and book chapters.

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