It ain't easy being a teen... and Jackie O. understands that well. Take her sound, faith-filled advice as we walk with God together.
It’s summer vacation! Yeah… wait, what was that? You’re not cheering? Perhaps it’s because your friends are at the beach while you’re trapped in a classroom?
I wouldn’t cheer either. You’ve already been through the regular school year with noisy class bells and exhausting exams. And now this! You’re probably asking yourself, “How am I going to make it through the hot summer studying instead of swimming?”
If this sounds like you, you’ve got a bad case of summer school blues.
Whether you’re in summer school for remedial instruction, to make up credits due to absence or failure, or for advancement purposes to boost your GPA and lessen your load during the next school year, there is a plus side to this experience. You’ll benefit from endurance.
Endurance is the ultimate “school supply” because it gives you the ability to bear prolonged hardship. It helps you tolerate more paperwork and tests. It gives you the power to remain strong when your friends are outside having a blast and you’re inside wearing out your eraser on Algebra. (I know! I was there. Algebra was not a good subject for me.)
The hit reality TV show Survivor is a good example of endurance. Week after week, the contestants are isolated in the wilderness as they compete. Some are more successful than others. What’s the biggest difference between the “Sole Survivor” and those who are voted off? The ability to endure. You were also created to survive and win. How?
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
But here’s an important point, endurance in the spirit is not the same thing as willpower. It’s not about you mustering up the might to master mathematics. It’s about God’s ability in you. Our goal as Christians isn’t to live by our own resolve or to rely on ourselves to invoke self-discipline. Yes, we need to act on our faith and take responsibility, but in everything we do, we should submit our will to God’s. We learn what His way is by attending church, reading the Bible, and remaining in prayer.
So how do you and I endure the challenges we face?
We lean on Christ. Romans 8:26 says, “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.”
Paul considered his limitations, reflected on God’s Word and wrote, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Cor. 12:9-10)
As Paul spoke to the Corinthians about the hardships they were facing in life, he encouraged them to give God their troubles and the things that were distressing them. God hears your and my prayers for help and He responds by extending His favor and offering us His salvation. (II Cor. 6:1-10)
The determination of man only goes so far, but the Psalms say, “For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” (100:5)
You’ve got an enduring God! And you can ask Him to empower you with the grit and guts you need to get through every challenge and situation in your life… even summer school.
~ Jackie O.