How to Deal with Academic Failure

In these past weeks, you’ve probably learned how crippling the education system has been to the hopes and dreams of your own, that of a student that you know, or even that of a young person that you love. If it has not been the disappointment and confusion of exam results, it has been the loss of securing a place at the university of your choice. To say that young people have been let down is an understatement. The Education Ministers have by and large put to shame the trust that students have put in the education system to benefit them.

And while you may still feel sore from being discounted by a system that should support you, your faith in Christ – counts you to be at better standing than others – even amidst failure.

Placing Your Hope on Vain Results

When we rely and place our trust on things that have the possibility to fail us, it is same as us resting our weight on a ‘leaning wall’ or a ‘tottering fence’ that at any time will ‘topple us’ and ’throw us down’ (Psalm 62:1-4).

When we place our hope in the hours that we spend studying for our exams, the hours we spend taking these exams, the moments we receive our exam results and university places instead of placing our hope in Christ, it becomes a vain hope. Vain because such hope becomes meaningless as we pass through life and worse when it can become a disappointment.

I don’t have to lecture you about disappointment, you already know what that feels like. You, as I have, still wince when you think back to the pain of results day and the heart sunken moment when you pulled that paper from the envelope and you saw 3 (or for me 4) letters that had let you down. A leaning wall, a tottering fence that gave way and let you fall flat on your face as you let those letters define you. Define your future. Define your place in society.

God Does Not Put Us to Shame

During times of uncertainty, we should not let the tottering fence or the leaning wall of our vain hopes define a future that God has defined for us. When all that we have worked hard for can be snatched away from us in a moment by the inequality of an education system, let our souls truly find rest in God who is our rock and salvation (Psalm 62:1-2). When the world thinks all hope is lost, you can take delight amidst sorrow knowing that even if everything is taken away from you pertaining to the body, the future of your soul is truly secure.

God is a fortress and a refuge during moments such as disappointing exam results but further than that He is a sure and firm foundation that we can rest our hopes, dreams, abilities and worth on. A secure place from which even during an assault on our academic aspirations we can join King David in saying :

Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God.

Psalm 62:6-7

Knowing that He has saved our souls through Christ, we should take hold of the reality that whatever befalls , our trusting in Him means that we will not be put to shame (Psalm 25:2).



  • Deborah Asamoah

    Deborah is a writer for OGGM and freelancer in broadcast television. She enjoys reading, making music and serving her local church.

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