Jun 18

Dealing with Stress

As exams are in full force at this time, as students, we will be obviously feeling some stress, where we can’t decide whether we want to curl up in a ball and cry, eat the entire fridge/pantry out or burn all our text books, along with our degree. We end up staying up late, eating less/more, procrastinating, regretting procrastination, and then in the worst-case scenario, perhaps ultimately giving up (ie, hitting rock bottom).

In a sense, we have turned our ‘study mode’ on and focused our sole attention on getting that 7, or A+, locking ourselves in our room, making notes, flicking through the textbook pages, scanning Facebook™, watching irrelevant Youtube™ videos and then back to the textbook and writing more notes. It becomes a time where the first thing we think about when we wake up is “that exam” and church activities no longer become a priority. We suddenly realise the time we normally allocate to God, our relationship with Jesus and the fellowship with other Christians has been disregarded for our study, and the phrase “I haven’t seen you for a while!” has popped up numerous of times.

Coping with the stress of exams and assignments is not easy, but one thing as Christians that can encourage us through the stressful times is our faith in Jesus Christ. However, for many of us our relationship with God is pushed aside during this time where we may need Him most. In John 14, as Jesus is about to face His crucifixion, He encourages his disciples in their time of stress and anxiety. In verse 27 He reminds them that through Him they will find peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” –John 14:27

From this verse we know that the peace we find in Jesus Christ differs from the peace we find in the world. So relevant to our study situation, our peace in the world can be binge eating, procrastination, letting out frustration and so many other things. But the one peace we must receive is the peace found in Christ Jesus, where it is gained through keeping up with reading God’s word throughout the stressful times (it can be through devotions, bible study), having fellowship with other Christians in church/youth and quiet time with God. And I know some of you say that you don’t have time, but it’s all about putting the effort into making that time available and setting it aside for your relationship with God.

Furthermore, as Christians, we need to be careful in these times that we do not lose focus of our identity in Christ and not get carried away with our potential careers. Our sole purpose for studying, and studying hard, should not be getting that job or having a good career for money/security alone, but instead we should be glorifying God by diligently studying. Then if we do achieve a good career and get that job, we are able to glorify God with our work and His kingdom. This doesn’t only include our money, but the opportunities we are able to gain to spread the Gospel and influence the world around us.

I pray you all have a good and productive study period, not only academically in studies, but especially spiritually in your relationship with God.

— Zoe Lam