This is the time of year when students receive their A level and GCSE exam results. It is an anxious time! Some are elated as they achieve the grades they need to move on to university or sixth form. Others are very disappointed when they fail to achieve the necessary standard.
It is a crucial time in the life of each student. Success opens the way for the future; failure seems to cast a shadow, although this is by no means always the case. This year many A level students who had hoped to go to university will not find a place, despite having achieved good grades.
In the preparation for the exams teachers encourage their students to work hard in order to achieve the best possible grades. Not all students take the advice and some hope that by a combination of natural talent and good luck they will get through. Often, however, the exams reveal their lack of preparation and poor results follow.
In many aspects of our lives we face assessment. Most employees have some form of appraisal which indicates their performance and effectiveness in their job. It is good to be appreciated and praised, but not easy to take constructive criticism which indentifies areas of weakness and poor performance.
The Bible teaches that at the end of our lives we must all appear before God to be judged. This judgment will be totally fair and will be based on how we have kept God’s laws. There is no escape from God’s justice. Tyrants and evil people may seem to get away with their evil deeds, but God will call every one of them to account and they will be justly punished. History provides many examples of unspeakable wickedness. It is a great comfort to know that those who have done these things will give an account of themselves to God, who knows all things.
But the certainty of God’s judgment is a solemn thing for us all. None of us has kept God’s law. All have sinned and have fallen short of what God requires. I need someone to stand with me on that day who will be my Advocate and Saviour. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners like me. On that great day I will plead not what I have done, but what he did for me. It is my only hope.