In life, we come up against many trials at school, home, on the sporting field or at work. One particular trial facing many NSW students at the moment are the aptly named HSC Trial exams, a time where there is lots of study and plenty of stress. I know this because I’m in year 12 facing it right now. What kind of attitude should we have when facing these tough situations?
Chapter 1 of the book of James in the New Testament says this:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance".
Pure Joy?! So not just a little bit happy (but mostly stressed)? No, 100% JOY.
To be clear, there are definitely going to be times when it is right to mourn or be upset. But we can also consider it pure joy when doing exams, enduring through sickness, relationship troubles and trials of many kinds big or small. Why? Well, because it develops perseverance.
In my Shakespeare text for English ‘As You Like It’ one of the characters says “Sweet are the uses of adversity.” In many ways he is right because the times when we learn the most are when we get things wrong or are challenged. So when these times come up we can be joyful because we know that we will grow and develop perseverance. Perseverance is a valuable characteristic to develop as we go through life.
This sounds very radical but what does it look practically - particularly in the thick of exams for us year 12 students? Here are some ideas that might help you:
- Find a song that relaxes you and listen to it before every exam
- Get a group of friends that you can work with and be encouraged by
- Take time out from study to have some time to yourself
- Use resources such as the ‘Survival Guide’
- Remember that the HSC is not all there is in life
- Remember the big picture, if you believe in Jesus you can have assurance of eternal life with no pain, suffering or trials
- Pray to God and give him your worries because he loves you.
We can find so much hope and joy in Jesus. If this is something you don’t have or know about, have a look around fervr because while you will continue to face trials like the rest of us you will also find hope, purpose and joy.