When I entered the RN program, we had to accept a different set of rules to pass each course successfully. The requirements for eligibility to take the NCLEX and get a license/registration are determined by the nursing regulatory body (NRB). The school did not have any leeway in the program’s structure, except for setting the minimum passing grade, which was 83%.
One of the first things we learned is that all of our exam questions would resemble the NCLEX licensure exam questions. Twenty-one of the twenty-five multiple-choice, pass or fail questions required correct answers to pass the exam. Achieving 83% even with the opportunity to take one repeat exam was an impossible goal for many student nurses. At the beginning of the second semester, failure to achieve the passing grade reduced the number of nursing students by 50%.
We had a discussion to develop an action plan to form study teams and study partners at the beginning of the third semester to save our students. But the pass or fail criteria proved to be too much, and at the onset of the fourth semester, the remaining nursing students totaled 7.
Although our hearts were heavy, we persevered and the remaining seven graduated from the strenuous pass or fail nursing program that shaped us to serve those who suffered from physical, mental, and emotional illnesses. Our spiritual journey with God also shapes us to receive the heavenly reward of eternal life.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus told us we would suffer! Still, He says that we should have inner joy because He suffered and has overcome every trial and tribulation above and beyond what we could possibly experience. Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Romans 5:3. If we believe in God, our Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, why are we burdened down when troubles come our way?
We embrace the “feel good” sermons, which have trended for a long time. Because we want to hear the spoken Word and not study the Bible, we listen to pastors and ministers who tell us, “just keep a positive attitude, and everything will work out.” When the trials and sorrows last longer than we expected, we experience anxiety, depression, worries, and thoughts of suicide.
Serving God is Pass or Fail
Using the Bible, the Word of God, we are going to identify the mindset that Believers in the Most-High God should possess:
- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Positive thinking, or an optimistic attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation.
2. In his kindness, God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11
“When things fall into place, they happen in a satisfactory way, without problems: If you plan the project well, then everything should fall into place.”
Pass or Fail
My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6 NIV
My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6 NLT
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
When we surrender and commit to serving God, we must diligently study the Bible. The scriptures were given under the inspiration of God. Without spiritual knowledge, we cannot possibly know who God is, nor can we experience His miraculous power. God was aware that we would be drawn to hear sermons but not to read His Holy Word. But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22
When I was a nursing student, we received the course outline one week before the beginning of each semester. The expectation was that we would study the chapter assignment before the lecture. Many misunderstood the purpose of the professor’s role in our learning experience. It was for review and clarification of knowledge that you possessed because you studied before the class.
Love, faith, trust, obedience, and patiently waiting for God to bring us through our trials enable us to experience spiritual growth. We must put our confidence in God! There is no room for self-reliance and unbelief in our spiritual journey. When we suffer from anxiety, depression, and worries, we know that we are not striving to reach our heavenly reward of eternal life.
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. Philippians 3:13-16
Our determination to serve God faithfully includes asking the Holy Spirit to reveal who God is as we study the Bible. Every decision determines whether we will pass or fail. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Bible Study: James 1
God, we are tired of failing. We ask forgiveness for not studying your Word and then expecting to have spiritual growth. Please fill us with your Holy Spirit and reveal the meaning of every scripture that we study so we will strive to win the race and receive our heavenly reward. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.