Hello fellow students!
We've reached finals week! Finally, after countless late nights and early mornings, the end has officially drawn near for the majority of us. Typically, we see final exams as the last stop before we can take a breath and slow down. However, I hope to encourage you through this busy time of year.
As school speeds up, life seems to hold off the brakes. So, we become weighed down by stress, doubt, and worry. We fear failure and the idea of failing to meet our expectations, or others' expectations set for us. We panic at the thought of receiving a "B-" (or a C+, D, or F) letter grade. We rush to cram, and sometimes go to extreme measures to do so (I'm sure Red Bull and Starbucks are happy!).
If any of this seems familiar, you are not alone!
We're all on edge this week. However, the grace of God says we don't need to stay there. In the midst of everything going on, we can find rest in God's Word. Here's three verses that help me focus on Christ through finals week (I promise to keep this short, for time's sake):
1. Philippians 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When you feel anxious, pray. Speak to God like you're speaking to a friend. Talk out loud. Open your eyes and look at the beauty around you. Listen for His still, calm voice. Allow the peace of God to soften your heart, whether it comes in the form of sweet silence, still water, or the shining sun.
2. Psalm 51:10
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
Each day brings a fresh start. How you perform on your last exam doesn't have any effect on your next one. After you give your anxiety to God, ask Him to give you a fresh start. Whether it be the morning, afternoon, or evening, ask God for help. As long as you have breath, you have time for newborn grace.
3. James 1:5
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."
Ask God for wisdom. Even as you read this, He's preparing your mind to remember the things you've studied. He loves you; He cares for you. God wants you to glorify Him with the skills and talents He intricately created you to possess. Trust that He knows exactly what you need by asking Him for wisdom.
Jesus is greater than our anxiety. He is greater than our fear, our worry, and our doubt. He overcame all of these on the cross and gives us sweet victory over them through His love.
Dominate this week by dropping the weight of your fear, worry, and doubt. God will be there doing the heavy lifting on your behalf. He's fighting enemies who are firing bullets you can't even hear right now. Take all of this in a nutshell, and pray.
Final Exam Prayer
Dad, this week is hard for me.
I'm stressed, doubtful, afraid - you name it.
But God, you love me.
You know exactly what I need.
Take my tired heart and give it a new heartbeat.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for you are with me and you are for me.
Regardless of the result, thank you for caring for me.
The glass isn't half empty or half full; it's provided.
You've given me life; so, I do all that I do for You.
Because You say so, I'm more than a number.
And because You live, I can face tomorrow.