The GRCS Portrait of a Graduate articulates that our students will become Disciples of Christ who "are prepared to follow Christ with faithfulness, resilience, and humility in a broken but hopeful world."
God does not promise us easy lives. In fact, he promises us that in this life, there will be struggles. When I think about Christians who are resilient, I don't think so much about toughness, but rather a sense of peace and joy in all situations.
Last week in chapel, we focused on the joy and peace that comes during tough times when we live for Jesus. Bible teacher Mark VanderWerf spoke on Philippians 4:4-8. It says:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
Paul tells us "Do not be anxious about anything" and promises that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds."
In a time when so many of our young people are stuck in the overwhelming grip of anxiety, these words are so hopeful. Max Lucado, in his book "Anxious For Nothing" sees these verses as a roadmap to dealing with anxiety.
He uses the acronym C.A.L.M.
First of all, celebrate God's goodness. Verse 4 tells us to "Rejoice in the Lord always."
When we are in those tough times, simply giving God praise and acknowledging his goodness is our first step. Next, ask for God's help.
Verse 6 tells us to "present our requests to God" and to leave our concerns with him.
Finally, in verse 8, it tells us to meditate on good things.
Celebrate. Ask. Leave. Meditate.
May the resilience that we build in our students be rooted in God's word, a life of prayer, and hope and faith in Jesus Christ!