Our dreams are God given. And it is God who will bring those dreams to fruition. What kind of God would place deep within each of us dreams that are unattainable? To operate that way wouldn't make him very loving or gracious now would it? Which is exactly why I do not believe that is how God works. Unfortunately, I sense that many in the church would disagree with me here. To be honest, in some ways I can understand their point of view. Many well intended Christians have taught us that whatever we want for our lives, God wants the exact opposite for us. This is why so many of us struggle with fully giving our lives over to God. We fear that if we do, he will take away our hopes and dreams.
Let me give you some examples.
Perhaps your dream is to serve God in full-time ministry, but are afraid to do so because He might send you to some remote village on the other side of the planet (or in my case you might wind up pastoring a church in a town of 15 people--not that there is anything wrong with that, I just like the city life). While the dream of ministry may be fulfilled, the fact that friends and family are important to you just went out the window.
I have a friend who wants to get married and have a family. It is something he hopes for, even though he is currently single. Periodically, he calls me up for relationship advice. Don’t ask me why? I may have been married, but I definitely don't have the market on dating or relationships (granted, having been through a marriage and a divorce, I might have a little better grasp than before). But, to be totally honest, I haven’t a clue when it comes to relationships (I kinda make it up as I go). Regardless, the questions come and I give the best input I can give him. Come to think of it, this could be part of the problem. Anyway, he tells me how he wishes God would just take this desire away, because he doesn’t see it happening. From these conversations, we inevitably get on this topic that our dreams are God given. Again, I don’t believe God is so cruel that He would place within us these hopes, dreams, and desires that He will not legitimately fill.
Now, we must take into consideration that part of the Christian life is learning to relinquish control to God. But our dreams are not necessarily part of that (if they are not selfish and in agreement with Biblical teaching). On numerous occasions in Scripture, we find that God speaks to individuals through dreams, i.e. Joseph (son of Jacob), Joseph (husband of Mary), Solomon, and Paul to name a few. God, being omniscient, desires that we learn to legitimately fulfill the dreams he has given us. The key word here being legitimately. There are no shortcuts with God. If we are following God, Scripture plainly tells us that He will shape and mold our dreams...not take them away. He will refine them and make them better than we had originally imagined. Afterall, God is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine.
We must also take into account the timing here. Patience, which I don't have a lot of most of the time, seems to be a big thing with God for some reason. It may take years or even decades for these God ordained dreams to come to fruition. Personally, some of the dreams I have are just coming into view; even though I have had them for years. The story that always comes to mind for me is Joseph, the guy with the technicolor dreamcoat. From the time he was given his dream to the time he saw it fulfilled was somewhere around the 20 year mark. This guy had to endure to see his dream fulfilled. From the very beginning it seemed he was doomed for failure, but time and time again, what the devil intended for harm, God used for good.