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    The High Price of Fear

    Don't let worries and fears about paying for college bring you down.

    Amber Penney

    When you first added up the average cost of tuition with room and board, you were probably a little shocked at that big number. And then you realized that's before all the other expenses that come along with college: travel to and from school, the price of books, etc. This daunting cost may be causing a lot of questions to run through your mind. You're probably wondering how you and your parents will come up with enough money to keep you enrolled in classes, not to mention pay for the extras: Will I be able to go out to eat anymore? How will I pay for gas? Will I have to wait four years to buy any new clothes?

    It's easy to let yourself get caught up in all the worries, fears and "what ifs," especially when they involve such a big price tag. But as you've probably learned from experience, this kind of thinking rarely gets you very far. It typically makes matters worse. So how can you put a stop to all these worries? Well, for starters, try reminding yourself of this promise: "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19, NIV).

    One incredible part of God's promise to meet your needs is that nobody could possibly know those needs better than he does. In fact, he's highly attuned to your needs. Didn't he create you? He knows you inside and out (see Psalm 139)—even better than you know yourself. What's more, he made the whole universe. If anyone can take care of you, he can because he knows what you need!

    Another thing to remember is that God won't do a halfway job in his care for you. He will meet all your needs. In fact, Paul says God will take care of your needs "according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." That's some promise. You might be thinking, Wow! Maybe that means I'll get that new car after all. Uhhh, not so fast. This is probably a good place to define "needs."

    Have you ever gone to your mom or dad and told them how much you needed a new pair of jeans, when in reality you had six or seven pairs in the bottom of your closet that you just didn't like anymore? That's how we tend to be about a lot of things in life. But thankfully, God, just like a loving parent, doesn't allow us to have everything we think we need. He protects us from things that could possibly harm us and blesses us with gifts that will make us better people. Instead, he knows our true needs.

    It's easy to let yourself get caught up in all the worries, fears and "what ifs."

    One incredible gift that comes from God's "glorious riches" is his grace. Here's what 2 Corinthians 9:8 says: "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (NIV). God's grace, coming free through belief in Christ, is the richest treasure any of us can ever know. And through that grace, God promises to give us what we need to accomplish the work he gives us to do.

    Sooner than you know it, your "work" will be that of a college student. You may find yourself overwhelmed—not only by your finances but by the demands of studying and the ache of homesickness. But there's no reason to fear. No reason to worry. Your heavenly Father knows your needs, and you can always trust that he will meet them.

    Amber is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

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