I log onto GP6, bleary from having studied late into the night, then horror of horrors––bad internet. We’ve all experienced stressful situations in our school lives, be it submitting an assignment seconds before it is due or preparing for a lab only to realize that we don’t have the acetic acid for the explosion experiment, and with the start of the school year, these experiences are becoming all too familiar. Sometimes our situations become worse, and we get a bad grade on an exam we’ve studied hours for, an entire chapter of our 1000 page textbook is assigned for reading over the next two days, or our brother knocks his milk onto our computer and everything dies in a sparkly, sizzling moment. Some of you are probably feeling stressed just thinking about all of this, memories flooding to mind of similar situations. Thankfully, however, our Father has told us exactly how to deal with these situations.
What? There’s a chapter in the Bible that explains how to prevent bad internet? There’s a verse that explains a better excuse than “Sorry, Mrs. C, my dog ate my homework?” Well, as nice as that might be, not exactly.
What Scripture does tell us is this, however. Philippians 4:6-7 reads, “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” (ESV).
This verse should give us students great encouragement, but it should also give us a sense of duty. God does not simply advise us to not be anxious. He commands it. “Do NOT be anxious about anything,” He says. And this command is repeated over and over throughout the Bible. “Fear not,” God commands over eighty times in Scripture. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
When many of us think “commandments,” our minds likely go to the Ten Commandments, but God’s commands also extend to other ideas less thought about, such as, “Do not be anxious.” To please and obey our heavenly Father, we need to let our fears go, our worries evaporate, and simply trust in Him to help us through our swamps of homework. James 1:2 instructs us to “count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds.” This does not mean we need to necessarily feel happy about our bad grades or dead internet or other problems, but we can instead try to deal with the situation in a Christ-like manner without freaking out or stressing and simply making the best of it and enjoying the learning opportunities. And by following with James says, we become steadfast, hopeful, and joyful, and most importantly, we obey.
Seen in this light, we should continue to work diligently, but also learn to enjoy even the seemingly difficult aspects of our school-life without being anxious. Instead, let’s go outside to study and enjoy the breeze and the sunlight! Get out of bed, and do class on the treadmill (yes, I do this). Try a new snack during the most difficult class. Take those Chemistry notes in colored pens. Don’t obsess over bad grades, but learn from past mistakes and strive to do better next time. And thank our Father for giving us this amazing opportunity to learn more about the world He has created, counting it all joy.
Wishing you a truly joyful school year,
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes on not what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”