"Philippians 4:13" by Joseph Y. Lee
- Philippians 4:13
By Joseph Yosuk Lee
I was making a 3.0 GPA average at UCI, and my electrical
engineer professor threatened that if I didn't study
harder, I might be forced out of graduate school. It
was the Winter Quarter of 1996, and I was miserable.
I was studying 10 to 15 hours a week on my electricity
and magnetism course while my electrical engineer
competitors did not study at all. I have prayed for
a B, and I got the fifth lowest score among 17 people
in the class. Of course, I was discouraged, and I
started to hate engineering, which I found it boring,
stupid, and hard. So, I asked my Catholic electrical
engineering friend to tutor me so that I could earn a
B. When he told me to drop the class, I thought I was
not going to make it in the course, and I became more
depressed. I cried all the time and told myself that
getting a $50,000 an year job was really not worth it.
At the end of that quarter, I got my B, and I could see
in my electrical engineering professor's face and that
he did not think I deserved a B.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
This verse is my favorite verse in the Bible, and I am
always encouraged by it. Some non-Christians may say,
"Joseph, does this verse seem to be untrue when you
did not get an A?" The answer is 'no.' According to
Dr. J. Vernon McGee, the verse should be translated
like this: "I can do all things in Christ which
strengtheneth me." In other words, Apostle Paul is
saying that I can do all things according to God's
will and that Christ strengthens me in whatever
circumstances I am in.
Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be
content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to
get along with humble means, and I also know how to
live in prosperity; in any and every circumstances I
have learned the secret of being filled and going
hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
Despite my poor performance in my electrical
engineering class, I was content with my B.
When the Spring Quarter began, I was not studying at
all. I was taking a ceramics course, and I was not
motivated. My electrical engineering professors would
tell me that I did not belong at UCI as a graduate
student and that I was extremely lazy. One week before
the midterm, I studied and crammed for the midterm for
five hours. I prayed about five minutes, and I begged
for a B. I told myself that God would not let me down
by getting a C, and I had so much confidence in our
Lord that he would pull me through with a B. After
the midterm was over, I was wrong. I did not get a
B. Instead, I got the A+. My professor said that I
got the highest midterm score in my class.
It was God who helped me overcome my difficult
trials at UCI.
"...If a man will not work, he shall not eat."
2 Thessalonians 3:10
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