Are you currently taking a course in which you’re not performing well? No matter how hard you study and get as much help, you’re still failing the quizzes and tests. Whenever you enter the classroom, your brain just tunes out, let alone think that now you’ll have to write an exam for that course! Well, that’s what we call: The black beast exam. In my case, that course was chemistry. I HATED going to the classes; whenever my professor would begin lecturing, it sounded like chinese in my ears. Honestly, I couldn’t grasp the materials. Now when it was time to write exams, I was paralyzed by fear because I knew I was going to blow it.
I’m sure this is not what God’s will for His children, that is, to be stressed, worried, and afraid about courses. We all know what the Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Then, how can we become bold and courageous to write an exam when we’re nervous to fail?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, 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”
In the sermon on the mountain, Jesus commanded the disciples not to worry. About three times in Matthew 6, Jesus says “do not worry” (v.25, 31, 34); I believe He really meant it: Do not worry! The problem is that we’ve worried all our lives and have seen other people do the same that we think it’s normal. The above verse in Philippians tells us not to be anxious about anything, including exams. God desires to see His children live peacefully and not be burdened, no wonder He said: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” – Matthew 11:28. When we are paralyzed by fear, it saddens God’s heart because He’s never willed us to carry this weight but instead roll it unto Him. So, we’re going back to our previous question: How can we be bold and courageous? Philippians 4: 6 says we need to present our requests to God with prayer and supplication, and thanksgiving.
- Prayer and supplication: Prayer involves simple words/requests made to God whereas supplication entails intercession, an earnest request for God to intervene, and this sometimes includes offensive spiritual warfare. For example, by praying you may say: “O Father, please take control over my exam.” On the other hand, by supplication you may say: “In the name of Jesus, I cast out this spirit of fear in me, I rebuke every thought of failure in me and I proclaim prosperity over my life, I will pass this exam in Jesus’ name because I am more than conqueror!”
- Thanksgiving: In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul says this to the Church: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We should rejoice always, pray continually, and most importantly give thanks in all circumstances. Our ability to thank God doesn’t depend on our feelings but even in the midst of troubles, we should thank Him. Why? Because this is God’s will for us to have positive attitude instead of a grumpy and complaining spirit. In our case, what can we be thankful for? The grace to have taken the course without dropping it, we’re able to understand some bits and pieces, or for a good professor/classmate.
After putting into practice the above recommendations, the promise is that the “peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” This peace will help us face that black beast exam with boldness and courage because we have faith that God cares for us and is on our side against the devil. We need to reject the thoughts of fear, failure and discouragement and bring them captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Always remembering that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of self-discipline.