It’s that time of the year again when the school library gets crowded and students are downing caffeine like nobody’s business.
How are you feeling about exam week looming ahead?
Exams are a stressful affair, we know. Whether you’re pulling all-nighters to cram a whole semester’s worth of content, or thankfully ahead of your meticulously colour-coded revision timetable, we could all use some timely words of encouragement.
So here are 5 verses to encourage and remind us about what really matters as we take on exam week.
1. Seek the kingdom first (Matthew 6:33)
Hidden in the longer passage from Matthew 6:26-34, is a reminder to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness.
But what does that actually mean?
When I was taking my IB exams, there were a bunch of people from Christian Fellowship who met up in the morning before each paper for worship.
At the time, I thought they were crazy because I was doing last minute cramming while they were singing. But now that I think about it, I really admire how at peace they were, while I was working myself up into a fluster trying to cram.
In fact, that peace was probably what I needed instead of last minute revision.
I think that’s what seeking God first might look like as students.
God, our Heavenly Father, who provides all we need, is bigger than our grades.
When we seek God first, we may not know what tomorrow holds, but we’ll know who holds tomorrow — isn’t that infinitely more comforting?
2. God will give you wisdom (James 1:5-6)
I always pray for wisdom before I study.
It’s simply impossible to cover everything. I pray for wisdom when I am doing research too, because it’s impossible to sift through every academic journal out there.
When I was doing research for an extended essay, I was struggling to find suitable articles that I could use as references. I spent a whole day searching and ended up with little.
I was about to give up on the whole topic, which would have altered the entire course of my research, but God granted me the wisdom and guided me to the right references.
I found the most useful resource (it also led me to other references!) in the strangest place – a scanned version of a critical essay on Reddit.
There’s no way around it – studying is tough.
But the good news is that we can have full access to the God of all wisdom. Are you tapping on that resource?
So before diving into your books, would you first ask God to be your study partner, teacher and guide?
3. Christ is enough for you (2 Corinthians 12:9)
While studying, I’ve been humbled time and time again by the limits of my own intellect.
It’s easy to feel inadequate next to peers who always seem to be doing better. And it’s easy to feel small, looking at the impossible stack of books you have to get through for the next test.
But let me let you in on a secret: every student has felt that way.
Perhaps that’s what it means to truly be learning – to recognise your small place in the vast world of knowledge!
And it is only when we come to the end of ourselves that we are able to fully rely on God.
So, take heart. Because it is in your weaknesses that God’s power is made perfect, so that you are able to say “Yet not I, but through Christ in Me”.
4. You can have the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7)
There was one night I remember most vividly from my two years in junior college.
It was after both my science experiments had failed and I was panicking because I needed to come up with a solution before the deadline. I actually felt like I was going crazy.
I went down a massive spiral, just thinking about all the ways my experiments could fail and how I would end up with nothing to submit, having to sit in front of the school principal and explain why I had to retake the whole year.
My hands were sweaty, shaky and my heart was pounding so hard as I paced back and forth, talking to myself. I felt myself spiralling out of control – but then I asked God for peace.
I didn’t manage to calm down immediately, but I did have peace that it would not be a hopeless situation. That night, I wrote “One day I’ll understand fully why such things happen” in my journal.
Peace isn’t the absence of trouble, but a solid assurance that comes from being in the loving hands of God.
Today, I know why. I learnt that peace isn’t the absence of trouble, but a solid assurance that comes from being in the loving hands of our Heavenly Father.
Have you experienced that same kind of peace? When you’re feeling anxious and panicky, would you pause and pray for that kind of peace? God hears you.
5. Your worth comes from God alone (Psalm 139:13-16)
As students in a world of pragmatism and perfectionism, we’re often made to feel like grades are tied to our self-worth.
But the truth is that no two-digit integer can encode who you are. You’ve got a heart, soul and mind that no GPA can accurately measure.
You have gifts, perspectives and talents that no grade can fully contain.
You’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made, by the creator God himself, who has already ordained all your days in His perfect plan for you.
What if you saw yourself through those eyes instead?
To you, weary Christian student, I hope these five verses bring you strength and courage.
Even so, know that these verses alone cannot capture the richness of all of God’s promises for you.
So whether it is rest, wisdom or peace that you need, would you turn to God?
He cares for you.
THINK + TALK
- What are your concerns and worries right now?
- Why not list them all down and submit them to God in prayer?
- What are your favourite verses in the Bible that give you hope?
- Know someone preparing for exams soon? Reach out to them with a word of encouragement!