“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the fourth session on the “Keys to Studying Well”.
In the last session, I explained that you need an adequate intelligence quotient and good environment to study well.
But these conditions are not absolute conditions for you who believe in God.
They are just some of the conditions that are needed for studying well.
The reason why I preach on the keys to studying well is to let you know that even though you may have some fleshly insufficiencies, with the secrets of studying well you can do well despite them.
I prayed with faith as follows:
“Heavenly Father, there must be ways for our students to study well. Teach me Your ways.”
And the answer to my prayer is this message on the “Keys to Studying Well”.
God taught me the keys to studying well and He taught me in great detail.
Who knows about you the best?
It is God who created you.
This message is the prescription that God has given to you because God knows about each of you better than anyone else.
If you believe in the effects of this message and practice them, you can do the things that are impossible to do with your strength alone.
In this message, I will introduce to you some people who overcame their circumstances with the power of God, and then I will delve into the third condition of studying well.
Dear students and members of Manmin,
In the last session, I talked about the second condition to study well, which is having a good environment.
It is helpful to have good environment for studying well, but even though your environment is not so favorable, if you subdue the environment, you can still study well.
What hinders you from being able to study well is not your circumstances.
It is actually the fleshly heart that disturbs you and prevents you from studying well. It is the effect of succumbing to your present conditions, complaining, resentment, and speaking words of unbelief.
If you rely on God with faith, you can also overcome the high waves of an unfavorable environment.
Furthermore, you can use those waves to go further and fly higher.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also overcame the high wave conditions of an unfavorable environment to fly high.
He entered elementary school right after the Korean War.
They had to study in a tent because the buildings had been destroyed. They didn’t have any chairs or desks.
He was just a little boy in a poor country that had just been devastated by war.
He was a little boy who followed American soldiers to get some chocolate from them.
He was raised in this kind of gloomy circumstances, but seeing those foreign people who came to help the Koreans, his curiosity towards the bigger world grew up.
He had the desire to study English.
But at that time, there were hardly any textbooks.
This kind of unfavorable circumstance made him invent his own way of studying, and because of that he could learn English very fast.
As a result, he got a chance to study English in the USA, which was very difficult for a student in the countryside to get.
When he went to the USA, he even met with the President Kennedy.
When President Kennedy asked him what his dream was, he said he wanted to become a diplomat.
This short meeting became his driving force to fulfill his dream.
He was the first son of a poor family, and he had to study in a room that was filled with his siblings.
When the parents were busy, he had to help with the house chores like chopping firewood, feeding the pigs, or taking care of his younger siblings.
But he never complained of such difficult situations, and he just dealt with them thinking of his parents who were working so hard.
As a result of studying hard despite his unfortunate circumstances, he was accepted to study Foreign Diplomacy in the Seoul National University.
At first, because he was from the countryside, he lacked confidence in himself around the rich students from the city.
But because of that, he studied harder than other students, and he was recognized for his efforts.
His experiences in these difficult times gave him the wisdom to overcome difficult situations and a strong sense of leadership.
As he was trying to fulfill his dream in difficult circumstances, he gained qualities of humility and a strong sense of work ethic.
He met many people after he became a diplomat, and they all wanted to help him because he was a humble man.
Finally, in the vote for the UN Secretary General, he was elected without any dissenting votes.
A little boy in a poor country that used to receive aid from the UN became a person who could contribute to world peace and help the poor children.
You can also do the same.
If you are studying in a less than desirable environment, why don’t you say to yourself that it is a good environment for making you a bigger and deeper vessel?
And as you try your best, God will allow for you to succeed in your profession.
God controls life, death, and fortune and the misfortunes of life in His justice.
God gives the fruit to those who try hard according to justice.
God does it even for unbelievers, and how much more fruit would He give you who are believers in God?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and students, in the Bible we can find many witnesses who were able to testify to the God of justice.
Among the patriarchs of faith we can see that virtually nobody came up in a good environment.
God chose His people from the furnace of sufferings which were very difficult for men to overcome.
And in their lives, He did the things that were possible only with God’s power.
One of the good examples is Joseph.
Joseph lost his mother at a young age, and he was separated from his father at the age of 17.
He was almost killed by his own brothers and he was sold as a slave.
After that, he lived as a slave, and then as a prisoner.
But we can see that his difficult path was not to end in failure, but it was the quickest way for him to become the Prime Minister.
It was the process of fulfilling his dreams, the dreams in which the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars had bowed down before him.
Had Joseph been an ordinary person, he would have given up many times. But what is the reason that he could overcome all those difficulties and become the Prime Minister?
It’s because He had the God-given dream in his heart, and he acknowledged God who was with him.
Namely, Joseph believed that God was with him all the time.
He also believed that God would fulfill his dream.
I hope you students will also pray like Joseph everyday, saying something like, “God, be with me. Give me strength and guide my way.”
Even though you get into difficult situations from time to time, be encouraged thinking that God the Father is always with you.
When you look at it with faith, a difficult situation is only a trial of blessing that makes you a greater person who can give glory to God.
Hebrews 11:33-34 talks about the witnesses who have experienced this fact as follows:
“…who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight…”
After introducing the people who experienced the power of faith, Hebrews 11:38 then says, “Men of whom the world was not worthy.”
I hope you students and members will be those of whom the world, which in this case is any kind of circumstance, is not worthy.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will show to the world that nothing is impossible by God’s power, and give glory to Him greatly.
Dear students of Manmin, I believe you will now study hard with the determination to overcome any kind of circumstance.
But, can you suddenly concentrate and study well if you just sit at your desk and open the books?
Those of you who have been diligently studying can do it, but those of you who are starting anew may find it difficult.
After ten minutes of studying, you may already lose your concentration.
You may begin to touch the things that are on the desk.
Your hands may stray over to the computers and you begin to play computer games.
Of course, I believe most of you wouldn’t do this any more.
Also, you may be sitting there to study, but your head is filled with so many other thoughts.
“What shall I wear when I go outside with my friends tomorrow? Where should we meet?” And similar things keep coming into your thoughts.
Why does this happen? It’s because you lack concentration.
That is why the third condition to be able to study well is the ability to concentrate on your studies.
Even though you sit at your desk for a long time, you cannot really study well without concentration.
Having idle thoughts while studying is like shooting many arrows at a target without aiming. It is meaningless.
Thus, if you make up your mind to study hard, you have to train yourself in a way that you can concentrate on your studies without having idle thoughts.
This is necessary not just for students but also for grown adults.
Especially, you need concentration when you pray and attend worship services.
If you pray with idle thoughts and with meaningless repetitions or if you doze off in your prayers, the growth of your faith and receiving answers to your prayers will be delayed even if you pray every day.
If you have idle thoughts while listening to the word of God, God cannot accept such a worship service.
If this is the case, so many hours that you spend everyday and every week will gain nothing of value.
Also, whether it is in learning the word of God or doing your work, if you concentrate you can finish a certain work in a day, but having idle thoughts it takes a couple of days.
How inefficient it is!
Therefore, you first have to cast off idle thoughts.
But if you try not to have idle thoughts, more of them come to your mind!
Then, how can you drive away such idle thoughts, which are not even visible?
Conclusively speaking, you have to recognize the origin of such idle thoughts and remove it.
Let us think about why you have idle thoughts.
Simply speaking, an idle thought is any one of many different kinds of unnecessary thoughts.
You have thoughts when you study.
Among these thoughts, there are the ones that are not related to and that hinder you from studying. These then are idle thoughts.
Now, what are the main kinds of idle thoughts that students usually have?
Usually, they are thoughts about some games, celebrities, friends of opposite sex and so on.
But you have learned and know that it is the will of God not to love the world.
1 John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
So, knowing this you try not to think of the worldly things.
But why do they keep on coming into your mind?
It’s because the worldly things that you have seen and heard had already been input into your memory device together with feelings about them.
For a better understanding, let us think about what ‘thought’ is.
The memory device is in the brain of a man.
What you see and hear as you grow and mature will be stored along with feelings as knowledge in this memory device.
And when this knowledge is retrieved, it is called, ‘thought’.
Namely, as long as you have knowledge in memory device, it will be retrieved as thought when that knowledge comes in contact with a stimulus.
Let us compare it with computers.
If you type the word ‘apple’ into the search engine, many kinds of information about ‘apple’ will be shown.
The memory device of our brain is similar.
If you see an apple by chance, you will be reminded of the things about an apple.
And when a piece of information is put into the memory, rather than what you actually see or hear, it is your feeling about it that has the greater effect on the formation of a memory.
Your feeling will affect how long that memory will last and how often it will be retrieved as thought.
The stronger the feeling, the more deeply it will be memorized and it will last longer.
I will continue with the methods of getting rid of idle thoughts in the next session.