Finals Week

As college students, but also as people, we are prone to worry. In fact this week exemplifies the worry that we all encounter due to our finals. In some ways, I think that even though we might be confident in any type of preparation or not stressing because of it being a small assignment, we can lose focus. We take all of our attention and focus inward instead of focusing on the One without worry.

When I see images like this one, it reminds me of the concept of hope. Even though there are times when I cannot see the blue sky, I still believe in its existence. I like how this author explained it:

“I believe in the sun
even when
it is not shining

I believe in love
even when
I cannot feel it

I believe in God
even when
He is silent”

However, living the truth out that our faith and hope depends fully on Christ is very difficult. I was explaining it to a coworker last night that I can only find comfort when I realize that God does work all things together for good but also realize that nothing shall separate me from His love. Living that truth, for me, is difficult as I tend to think that due to worrying that there might be something, but in reality there is nothing that shall separate me from His love.

Let the following quotes by John Piper be like Gatorade for our tired and weary souls and remind us of what is truly important:

“Let it hit you, brothers: God…never had a beginning. God never had a beginning! ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ And the one who never had a beginning, but always was and is and will be, defines all things. Whether we want him to be there or not, he is there. We do not negotiate what we want for reality. God defines reality. When we come into existence, we stand before a God who made us and owns us. We have absolutely no choice in this matter. We do not choose to be. And when we are, we do not choose that God be. No ranting and raving, no sophisticated doubt or skepticism, has any effect on the existence of God. He simply and absolutely is. ‘Tell them I AM has sent you.’

“If we don’t like it, we can change, for our joy, or we can resist, to our destruction. But one thing remains absolutely unassailed. God is. He was there before we came. He will be there when we are gone. And therefore, what matters in ministry, above all things, is this God. I cannot escape the simple and obvious truth that God must be the main thing in ministry. Ministry has to do with God because life has to do with God, and life has to do with God because all the universe has to do with God, and the universe has to do with God because every atom and every emotion and every soul of every angelic, demonic and human being belongs to God, who absolutely is. He created all that is, he sustains everything in being, he directs the course of all events, because ‘from him and through him and to him are all things, to him be glory [in our ministries!] forever’” (from The Divine Majesty of the Word).

“When huge pain comes into your life—like divorce, or the loss of a precious family member, or the dream of wholeness shattered—it is good to have a few things settled with God ahead of time. The reason for this is not because it makes grieving easy, but because it gives focus and boundaries for the pain.

“Being confident in God does not make the pain less deep, but less broad. If some things are settled with God, there are boundaries around the field of pain. In fact, by being focused and bounded, the pain of loss may go deeper—as a river with banks runs deeper than a flood plain. But with God in his firm and proper place, the pain need not spread out into the endless spaces of ultimate meaning. This is a great blessing, though at the time it may simply feel no more tender than a brick wall. But what a precious wall it is!” (from When Satan Hurts Christ’s People)

Brothers and Sisters, as we press on to finals and a long awaited break, let us not lose focus and gaze at ourselves and our own abilities; instead let us look to our Father who has given us his Son, he has given us the Holy Spirit for comfort, and ultimately, he has given us grace to continue on even in a day filled with worry.

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