Here are 4 great Bible verses for students, no matter what age they are.
Today, the average student in college is near 28, and that’s up from a few years ago. What that tells me is that today, older adults are re-entering or just beginning their college journey. I know it’s never too late to learn something new, and I admire those who are older who are now returning to college to fulfill a dream that life interrupted. If you are in school right now, including those in high school and below, remember this verse. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). If Paul was confident that God will finish what He started, then how can we not be? If we have entered into something new, and at an older age than most college students begin, you have God’s promise that He is going to complete what He’s doing in you and bring it to completion, which is at the day of Jesus’ return. Even though this was written in the context of the Philippian’s walk with Christ, it’s still a promise that I believe God makes for all who trust in Him. If you’ve gone back to school or a young person just entering into school, you know God opened this door, because nothing happens outside of the sovereign will of God.
I can remember the long and sleepless nights trying to get through college and think about all that I had to do before graduating, so I learned something the hard way and I want to share it with you. It works well in life too. When I was so overwhelmed by all the stress of work, pastoring a church, and finishing a master’s, while having a family, there were times when I thought, “I’m never going to make it.” I felt like I was being squeezed in four different directions; I had family, I had work, I had the church, and I had school. This was one of the toughest stretches in my life, so what I decided to do was what I did in getting my BA. I looked at my assignments and “things to do,” and decided to do the hardest things first. I took on the most difficult assignments early in the week, and progressively went through it until I had the easiest things to do in my classwork. If I had done it the opposite way, I would have left the hardest stuff for last, when I was the most tired and had exhausted much of my energy by the end of the week, so I do the hard stuff first and work my way down, but this verse also helped me. It’s where Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt 11:28-29). Jesus did give me rest. He allowed me to sleep at night, but only because I came to Him and unloaded every burden and laid down every weight.
When I began college many years ago, I didn’t know a soul. Most of the students were younger than I was, and they tended to ignore me, so it never felt as lonely for me as when I began my college career, at almost 30 years of age. Even though 29 isn’t old, it is to a 18 to 21 year old, so I didn’t have the chance to make many friends in college, and it’s an advantage because if you have a friend who is in the same class as you, then you can study together and try to work together on the most difficult things, but when you have few friends and most of whom don’t have the same classes as you, it can get very lonely. Here is where God encouraged Joshua with words that I take to heart. God told Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8). If you could hear God speaking directly to you, wouldn’t that be encouraging, but God does speak to us, and it is in His written Word. There is real power in God’s Word, and it can encourage us, lift us up, and make us realize we’re supposed to unload all our burdens on Him because we were never meant to carry such heavy loads.
I love reading the Gospels, and in one section in particular, Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Since we can do nothing without Jesus, and nothing is not a “little something,” this makes us realize that we can’t do anything without Him. It is only through Christ that we can do anything, and the “all things” include college, work, family, and other things that students must deal with in life. All things doesn’t mean everything, because if its outside of the will of God, and God knows it’s something that will hurt us, all things may not include what you pray for, but it’s good to know that we can do all things through Christ. If we recognize that we can do nothing of consequences without Jesus, and only do anything through Him, we’ll discover that we’re not walking this journey alone. God is with us and will never forsake us or abandon us (Heb 13:5). That’s yet another promise of God you can lean on while in school.
If you can think of another verse, please add it. I know there are hundreds of verses out there that can encourage us through the difficult semesters and help us unload our burdens on Him. I do know that whatever happens will always work out for our very best, because God said so (Rom 8:28), and that’s more than enough for me. How about you?