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What a blessing and encouragement to hear and see the word of God impacting the lives of young people throughout our nation. Now that the 2020 National Bible Bee Competition has officially ended, we wanted to again reflect on the many different ways God’s word has taken root this summer. Our prayer is that each participant and their family will continue to cling to His promises for the rest of their lives, and to abide in the truth of God’s word.

A few of the 2020 NBBC Semi-Finalists have shared their favorite lessons and encouragements from their studies, and we rejoice to witness all that God has been teaching them. Their thoughts are truly a testament to the wonderful way that God works in each one of his children. We hope that their testimonies encourage and refresh your heart today.

From Titus: “God brought out my need for reliance on Him in the midst of my own insufficiency this study season. At times, I felt so weak, especially heading into the test and oral [rounds]. I knew that in order for me to advance, God was going to have to do something big, because I felt very underprepared, and I oftentimes tried to rely on myself to solve my own problems. It never worked out for me until I laid the competition in His hands and committed my studying to Him. There are ways I could have done better, and there are things that I regret, but the Lord taught me valuable things, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Jedediah said: “Through the [Summer Study] God taught me that although it may feel like God has turned us down, He is still a loving Father, and we can be of good courage because of His plans. Through John 16-21, I learned that although we are sometimes like Peter and forget to follow Christ, [God] is tenderhearted and caring, and He can empower us to continue in our journey with Him.

“A main lesson God taught me from studying the life of Joseph is to be content and to forgive,” Elizabeth states, a Senior who loves rock-climbing and baking, “I was participating in the summer study not long after COVID started, and I was very angry at China for allowing COVID to spread, and at our governor and Democrats for reporting false cases and keeping us in lockdown. Joseph is a very good example for me because his circumstances were much worse than mine. But despite the circumstances, he was content and trusted in God. He even forgave those who hurt him. During the summer study I learned to be grateful for what God did for me during lockdown, and Joseph’s story still continually reminds me that I need to forgive people I do not like.

From Patrick Lee, a Junior who has competed in the National Bible Bee for 6 years: “We don’t get to where we are because of anything we do. It’s all by the grace of God. We just need to work hard and allow God to use us for his purposes like Joseph.” Patrick also learned that “God’s plan is usually not our plan, but his plans are much greater than ours and cannot be stopped by anyone or anything. God’s will always is accomplished.”

“[W]hatever happens, fires and hurricanes and diseases, God is in control of all things! Everything that happens fits into His redemptive plan,” Thomas, a 13 year old Junior, explains, “Whatever evil may be going on in America, God means it for good! It’s for His purpose! All we need to do is trust in Him! …Psalm 105:7-24 was a passage I needed. It was about God’s plan through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. There was always something wrong going on: famines, brothers getting sold, etc. But God’s plan was never diminished! I need that lesson in my life because there are so many wrong things going on in this world.”

And finally, from Taylor, a 17 year old Senior: “During the Summer Study, I learned a lot about trust. It’s a lot easier to talk about trust than to actually have it. For the past year, God has been showing me that I can trust Him in all areas of my life including my future and life changes. Learning about how Joseph trusted God and God took care of him even in difficult circumstances has helped me.”

Complied by National Bible Bee Alumna: Tabby Boulware