As a college student when finals week approaches, it seems like the entire campus falls ill. Everyone seems to have the same symptoms of becoming monotonous, tired, and quite frankly unpleasant to be around. With dreams of summer, the beach, no stress, and relaxation jumping around in everyone’s head, we are forced to find some way to focus on the work that needs to be done. I find myself falling into this trap not just during finals week, but also just on stressful weeks in general. This year, I have challenged myself to try and be joyful around others, no matter what life throws at me.
With Easter just having occurred last weekend, I find it appropriate to relate this to what Jesus went through about 2000 years ago. Jesus knew what was going to happen to him, and he may not have been able to be “joyful” knowing that he would die a death that he didn’t deserve. However, Jesus continued praying and pursuing relationships with his disciples and those around him as He powered through what he knew must be done in order to fulfill the word of God. As it says in Matthew 26:39, “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'” Jesus did not want to die on the cross, but he knew that it was his Father’s will, so that we could be saved.
As Christians we are called to live a Christ like life. Going through a stressful week does not even begin to compare to Jesus preparing to sacrifice himself for us. For me, when I am going through finals, or a stressful week at work, I think I am called to be joyful and fun to be around. There are going to be enough people moping around feeling sorry for themselves. We need to go againstiflow and encourage people to do well, and power through. I believe by doing this, you will not only find that you will bring joy to the people around you, but you will also find yourself filling up with joy.
We are called to have a smile on our face as we cross the cafeteria or walk through the library. We should start conversations with those who are obviously stressed and give them a cookie that mom sent us in a care package. If we are to live a Christ like life, studying for finals should be a perfect time to profess Jesus’ name by just being joyful and happy! People are going to be tired of reading their chemistry books or responding to emails anyways; start a friendly conversation and really invest in someone!
Over the next couple of weeks, I encourage you to pray Philippians 4:4-7 over your classmates, co-workers, and even yourself:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Brothers and Sisters, be joyful! Make a joyful noise for the Lord! Wear a smile around for the Lord! Make people wonder why you are so happy, and when they ask use that as a platform to spread the great name of Jesus! Live againstiflow!