A Word of Encouragement for My Student Friends

The alarm clock sounds at 6:00am and you roll over in bed to turn it off. Instead of turning it off you decide to hit snooze button for another ten minutes of rest. You know the day will be filled with challenges, and that makes it hard to wake up. But you do anyways, and you’re faithful because of it.

It’s 12:00am and you’re still trying to finish a chemistry assignment that’s due the next morning.

“Just a few more years and I’ll be a physical therapist,” you think.

But at the same time you wonder whether or not the title you will achieve is worth the present pain. You imagine that once you’re done you’ll find a good job, make enough money to be happy, pay off your debt and do whatever people have time to do when they’re not in school.

“Life will be better,” you think, and so you keep plowing along.

It’s 1:37pm and you just finished eating some lunch. Your test is at 2:00pm and you feel like you could have or should have studied more, but it’s too late now. The day is far from over. After your test you’re going to go and work wherever you work and then come home exhausted, only to wake up the next morning and do it all again.

“Eleven more weeks until Christmas break,” you think, and it makes you cheer up.

* * * * *

As a college student it seems life consists mainly of this quite stressful, daily routine. If you were wondering, I’m not about to talk about test tips or study tips or getting by on coffee and five hours of sleep tips. Rather, I want to address the futuristic mindset of life getting better and easier than it is now. I have talked about this a little before, but I am coming at it here from a slightly different perspective – the perspective of wealth.

For me the idea of finding a good job that pays well is very motivating, and it is a healthy motivation. The Bible speaks in Psalm 128, that, of “everyone who fears the Lord” it will go well with them and they will be blessed and eat the fruit of their labor. This does not mean that the righteous will never go through hard times or will always be rich in material things. I am not preaching a “prosperity gospel.” But it does point to God’s faithfulness. As the scriptures declare, God will never leave us nor forsake us, rather He will provide for His people. We should desire God’s blessing and seek after it. Thus, in as much as finding a job is God’s blessing and provision for us, we should seek after it.

From another perspective, the idea of acquiring more wealth to trust in is an unhealthy motivation. Solomon declares in Proverbs,

“Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle towards heaven.”

In the Old Testament we read of the Israelites growing wealthy and chubby and forgetting the LORD their God. In Luke we read of the parable of the rich man who had filled his barns with crops and goods and declared to his soul that he was wealthy enough to “relax, eat, drink, and be merry.” Yet God calls this man a fool, telling him that this very night his soul would be required of him. This man was rich to himself yet poor towards God. Thus, my point here is to warn of the danger of this mindset of trusting in riches or living only to acquire more – never being satisfied or content with what you have now.

I write these things because I am convicted by the scriptures. I write these things not to tear you down, but to call you on guard. Solomon warns of this danger in Proverbs 30 when he writes,

“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

In closing, I exhort you to live everyday seeking God’s favor. I exhort you to be astounded by the wisdom of God and praise Him for it. Marvel at his creations even as you struggle to understand and learn about them. As Paul told Timothy, be godly and content, for in that there is great gain. And finally, remember that the LORD goes before you, just as he did for the Israelites in the promised land.

“Go. Go away! Read some books!” –Nacho Libre



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