Have you studied?

In the next four to six weeks every school student across the country will wrap up their studies and take tests, final exams, standardized state tests, AP tests, and turn in final papers and projects. Multiple-choice questions, tiny answer-sheet bubbles, essays, and hours confined to a desk are just a few things likely to cause anxiety for students. For many, their grade depends on their final performance—so preparation and study is key.

At some time or another, we all have endured school testing. But there are other kinds of tests to challenge us. Tests in life and faith can surprise us like pop quizzes. A friend’s betrayal, a physical injury or long illness, bullying, temptation to drink or smoke, and a divorce or death in the family are just a few of the faith tests that teens may encounter in their lives.

Christian test prep

Christians are not new to tests of faith and suffering. All through the Scriptures we can trace times when people were tested, along with the ways God walked with them and provided for them during the tests. Those times of challenge or hardship were not meant as punishment, but rather as opportunities for God’s people to draw close to God. Bad things do not happen to people because God causes them to happen or because God wants people to suffer. Bad things are a result of natural elements and poor choices that people make in regards to our planet and one another.

The good news is that we never have to face our faith tests alone, and there are ways we can prepare for them. A close relationship with God through daily prayer is the best preparation. Taking part in a community of believers gives us friends who will stand with us when our faith is tested, as well as friends we can help in return. Reaching out to help others—especially through mission opportunities—helps us maintain perspective about what is truly important in our world. Reading the Bible gives us hope as we see our story in God’s story. Believing Jesus’ power and love are bigger than any test we face, and knowing he has already conquered sin and death is our ultimate “study prep” tool.

Question of the day: What is the biggest challenge you are facing between now and the end of the school year?
Focal Scriptures: Job 2:7-10; Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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