Why ‘You can do it!’ is sometimes the wrong thing to say

disney dreams will come true quoteWalt Disney said,

‘All our Dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them’.

I have to say that I mostly love this quote. I love the idea that if we are motivated to reach our potential then great things can happen as a result.

On the other hand though, I find the quote terrifying if anyone takes it as a guarantee. We should have the courage to pursue our dreams and to try our hardest but the reality is that sometimes things just don’t work out in the way we want them to.

Gideon, was struggling. All his dreams hadn’t come true, Israel (where he lived) was under attack from the Midianites (a neighbouring tribe) and he and the rest of Israelites felt powerless. Gideon expresses these feelings when he says;

“Why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” (Judges 6.13)

Things changed when Gideon met an angel who said to him,

“Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel” (Judges 6.14).

Gideon refused saying that he was the weakest and that he was a nobody.

I wonder if you feel that way today?

Perhaps we have grown up with a promise that says that all our dreams will come true and if we have then perhaps we are unhappy and confused about why our dreams aren’t a reality.

Gideon was confused about what was going on, he was disoriented because it felt to him like God had abandoned the Israelites. He was despairing because of their constant defeats and most of all he had lost any hope for the future.

God says to Gideon, ‘go in the strength you have’, or to put it another way, he says;

You can do it Gideon, you just need the courage to pursue your dreams.

Gideon replies


When I used to think about Gideon’s story I always felt disappointed that Gideon didn’t have faith in God. Then it dawned on me that he wasn’t refusing God, rather he was confessing that he couldn’t manage on his own.

Gideon’s answer was the right answer and it allows God to respond,

“I will be with you” (Judges 6.16).

God promises that they can save Israel together and this was a turning point for Gideon.

Gideon shifted from being a person consumed with disillusionment and despair and he became a man whose hope is in God.

Gideon shifted from having the weight of the world on his shoulders and feeling overwhelmed by it to becoming dependent on the God who is carrying the weight of the world.

The answer wasn’t to try harder, the answer was to trust in and to rely on God.

You see, God hadn’t abandoned his people, God was waiting for his people to rely on him.

Trying harder is good as far as it goes but most of all I want to trust in God and to work with him.

About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Regional Minister for the Eastern Baptist Association in the UK (the views expressed in this blog are my own) and I am especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century.
This entry was posted in change, Faith, God is with us, Prayer, trust and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Why ‘You can do it!’ is sometimes the wrong thing to say

  1. Pingback: The One about Awesome Bubble Blowing | Honest about my faith

  2. Reblogged this on Honest about my faith and commented:

    Facebook memories reminded me just now that I wrote this a year ago and reading it again really encouraged me and I hope that it encourages you as well.


  3. Pat says:

    Very encouraging post! I enjoyed the read! I looked for a share button 🙌🙌😃😃


  4. Pat says:

    Mercy me I see them now! Glasses 🤗🤗😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pat says:

    Reblogged this on Good Devotionals and commented:
    Encouraging! Enjoy


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