For many, this week is the week we all dread, finals week. For others, it's the end of our college career and graduation is just days away. There will be breakdowns, all-nighters, memories reminisced and so much RedBull drank, it's critical. Throughout this week, though, don't let the stress of this world overwhelm you. Instead, go spend some time with your Heavenly Father. It's times like these, when we're exhausted from life, that we need His love, hope and strength the most.
1. “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” (Psalm 34: 17-19)
Let's be real, finals week and graduation both bring a lot of tears. So when the tears start coming and your heart feels completely shattered from all the stress and sadness within the next week, remember our Father is the perfect listener and is ready to hear those cries and dry those tears.
2. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6,7)
Whether it's worrying about an extremely difficult test or filling out job applications because you are uncertain about what you will be doing with your life after graduation, go to God with the anxiousness and know that He is in control. Regardless of whether you do or not, He HAS a plan. The overwhelming comfort you will feel from His peace is a feeling like no other.
3. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
God doesn't recommend that we be strong and courageous, he COMMANDS it. Be confident in your work, not worrying about those tests and final projects that you have put hours of time into. When we are obedient, being the strong person God has called us to be, we are not only showing our faith in Him, but also showing our self-love and respect to ourselves.
4. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)
As fallen creation, we are constantly worrying about so many things, some that are completely out of our control. We are precious children of a perfect Father who will ALWAYS provide and care for His children. Don't worry, simply trust Him.
5. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and mountains quake and with their surging.”(Psalm 46: 1-3)
Preparing for that chem II final that no matter how long you study, you still feel like you don't know everything you should, or filling out 10 job applications with no certainty of an interview from one of them may feel like the mountains are collapsing down on you, but have faith in God's greater plan. He knows our fears and He will be faithful to see us through in His perfect timing. No matter how rough life may get, our God is always with us.
6. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Nap thirty? I think so. When you physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and spiritually feel as if you are completely empty, drained of all you have, it's time for rest. Seek out God and He will give you a rejuvenation unlike anything else this world can offer you.
7. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”(1 Peter 5: 6,7)
God loves us so incredibly much. He doesn't want to see us fall, but sometimes we need to allow Him to pick us up and carry us the remainder of the way.
8. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”(John 14:27)
There is just something so serene about the peace of mind and peace of heart that God gives that simply cannot be described enough to be put into words. Find your peace in God.
9. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40: 30,31 )
10. "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalms 73:26)
We're only human, we are going to fail. When you need that pick me up, let our Father be the strength you need.
11. "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up." (Proverbs 12:25)
Life is tough and worries can really bring a person to exhaustion. This week, when someone gets snappy or seems just a little too overwhelmed, send a compliment their way, encourage them. You never know what kind of day someone may be having and how a simple smile and "I believe in you" or "you look nice today" can do for their heart.
12. "'If you can?' said Jesus. Everything is possible for one who believes." (Mark 9:23)
Wow, words of Jesus, Himself. Not some things, but EVERYTHING. Don't doubt the power of our God.
13. "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3, 4)
Sitting through countless hours of class, pulling multiple all-nighters and balancing the rest of your social/personal/work life all in between may cause you to feel like you're suffering. Sometimes it's that very suffering that will build the perseverance you need to push on, giving you the hope and character to fuel your flame.
14. "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8, 9)
There's no doubt about it, life is hard. When you're feeling beaten and worn out, know that despite all of the negativity and people telling you, "you can't" or making you feel smaller than an ant, you are NOT destroyed. You are a beautiful creation of God who has purpose.
15. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galations 6:9)
I promise you, guys, I know you're exhausted. You want to throw the towel in and say no more, you're done. But, you're so close to the end, it WILL be worth it!
Keep on, keepin' on.