Have you ever been around a ticking clock? One that literally announces every single second aloud to the nearby world with a string of incessant clicks – it drives some people crazy, and comforts others. If you’re a student ending the semester, you might be able to count hours easier in flashcards and coffee cups than minutes and seconds. (If that’s the case, feel free to skip to the link for this month’s Lightning Study and spend 10 minutes allowing the Lord to refresh you with His words!)
We don’t want to waste your time with a long blog when there are so many other things to do and study; but we DO want to say things that nourish you during this crazy time. So here are three grounding truths for you to remember this week:
1. THIS SEASON IS NOT MEANT FOR YOUR DESTRUCTION.
You may not feel like it right now; but the end of a semester is not intended to crush you under an earthquake of textbooks or stress. Take a few minutes to think back to the very beginning of this semester – do you see how much you have learned?! Remember that. Don’t forget that; because that is a testimony not just to teachers or your study habits. The learning process is a testimony to God, a gift He gives to His precious creation, and an activity He never leaves you to do on your own (John 15:26).
We’re not publicizing a prosperity statement, or promising you good grades. It’s possible to fail classes that could affect years of your life, postpone graduation, cost money, etc. If your heart just skipped a beat, that’s a good indication you need to reset your priorities. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t care about your grades or the affects of your actions; but grades should not have the power to stress you to the point of despair, define your perception of yourself, or paralyze you in fear. God is good, and that is enough.
2. REJOICING IS NOT JUST FOR THE HAPPY.
OK, this one hurts. We talk a lot about having joy; but despite the many times we hear the word command “rejoice,” it doesn’t seem to make things any easier or clearer. It’s easy to complain about that test, this teacher, that project, this friend.
It’s not easy to “fan into flames the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6 ESV). Truly God has given many gifts; the context of that reference indicates faith as the gift to kindle instead of dousing.
It’s easy to put pressure on ourselves, clutching tightly to idols crafted by years of underground thoughts, blaring expectations, and trifle actions. But God’s standards are so much higher and better than any we could ever impose or create; rejoice that He wants to be in close relationship with you. It is enough.
3. HE DOES NOT DELAY LONG OVER US.
Jesus “was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying
‘In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, “Give me legal protection from my opponent.”
For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, “Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.”‘
And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?'” (Luke 18:1-8 NASB, emphasis added)
When was the last time you asked God to help you study a set of flashcards? To make your study break restful and refreshing? Give you a grace-filled attitude towards your teachers and fellow students? Jesus has told us that we should pray at all times and not lose heart; it is enough.
This month’s Lightning study is from one of the Psalms that Christ quotes while He was being crucified.
It discusses hard things, and gives great wisdom for how to pray through them.
download this free study (God our Strength)
(once you log in, you can find the study in the “Resources” tab)
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