Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

Dealing with results

By Dave Frodsham, lead elder, Jubilee Church Wirral

We live in a results-driven world and they can begin to dominate our lives and cause anxiety.

 We have exam results, medical test results, sports results, driving test results and numerous other minor and major results to do with academic or practical situations.

I was thinking how two people I know dealt with the recent A-Level results. One was very relaxed the night before results day and one was struggling to sleep and couldn’t wait to find out. Neither really had much to worry about and did well.

The A-Level/BTEC etc exams are a significant milestone in a student’s progression and can change the direction of their lives on the day they are received. The plan may be to go to a certain university and the result can mean that the plans made to move to another part of the country are completely redundant and a new set of plans must be made in a very short space of time. So, I can understand the pressure that creates and have lived through that sense of uncertainty. 

Waiting for results from medical tests can produce the same sort of anxiety. It’s often the not knowing that people don’t like but also if the test gives an unexpected result it may impact you very differently and bring a new challenge.

On reflection it’s not only the result that impacts but how we deal with results that can make a difference. Some people seem to deal with unexpected results very well but others are thrown into chaos and many degrees in between the two extremes.  There are a multitude of ways of dealing not only with results but also the uncertainty leading to results being issued.

We believe God is the Sovereign ruler of the world, and that if He wants something to happen nothing can stop Him changing a situation and also that He has a good plan for each of us but sometimes bad things happen. At those times we have to continue to look to God and trust Him for the outcome.

The Bible does offer us some strategies in a number of places for dealing with anxiety. One of those is in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In chapter 4 v4-7 (ESV) he says:

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.

The encouragement is firstly to live showing the joy you have of knowing God. Paul wants to press home that this is the most important thing so he says it again, “Rejoice!” Living in a state of thankfulness for the things we have rather than anxious desire for the things we don’t have. Let people know you are a reasonable person in how you respond to difficult circumstances and when things are not going your way. The antidote to anxiety it says in this passage is to pray. Submit and bring those things you want to see changed to God but do it with thankfulness. If you live in this way you will have a peace from God that won’t necessarily reflect your situation from the outside. This peace will guard your heart and mind. Two things medically we know are affected by stress and anxiety.

So if you are waiting for results or have just got results that weren’t what you hoped for, remember: Thank God for what you can, Pray to Him for what you want to see change and Trust Him that He is with you and will give you peace about your future.

Much love and peace,

Andrew Greenhalgh and Julie Greenhalgh Upton Life Group leaders Jubilee Church Wirral

Dave Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral

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