Benjoy comes from Kerala State, India
I was not really interested in studying when I was at school. I was not a good student, so my marks were never high. But my father wanted me to go to an engineering college. To do this, I needed high marks in all my exams.
I was scared
I was very scared, especially about my maths exam. I knew I would need at least 50%. Could I satisfy my father's dreams for me? A few days before our results came, I went to my room and started to cry. I called out to God, asking him to let my maths result be 70%. A week later I heard I had 70% for maths – not one mark more or one mark less! I did very well in my other subjects too. I was so happy and thanked Jesus for helping me.
We paid to see the paper
I went to engineering college, but even then I did not find it easy to study. Each year we had exams before we could go to the next part of the course. At the end of my first year, all the students were tempted to cheat. We learned that we could pay money to see the questions on the day before the exam. I did not want to do wrong, but the temptation was too great for me.
So I paid money to see the maths questions. In the exam next day, we found that the questions were not the same as the those that we had paid money to see! I did the exam, but I knew I had done badly. Afterwards, I went to my room and cried out to Jesus. I told him, "I am sorry. I will never cheat again."
Having a good time
When the results came, I passed maths, but most of my friends failed. Now I could go into the second year. In my second and third year, I wanted to please the Lord Jesus. I studied hard and know he helped me in my exams. But then I thought, "I am not enjoying life. I should please myself in this fourth year of my course." I found people who had money and they became my friends. I thought I was having a good time with them and did not spend time studying.
When exam time came again, I failed six of my papers. I had to do these again in my final year. My friends all studied for 9 papers, I had to do 15! When the final exams started, I realised that there were so many to do, I had no time to study in between them. All the exams were difficult for me. I was scared, just as I was before I went to the college. Then I realised I had not been praying and following Jesus as I should. I went to my room and prayed. I also read the Bible. These are the words I read, "God says, Don't be afraid – I will save you. I have called you by name – you are mine."* These words made me so happy. I knew that I was special to God because he had called me by name. He would help me through all my difficult exams.
I still had temptations. Many of my college friends came to me and told me, "If you pay money you will pass." But I told them, "I don't care if I fail, I will never again cheat by paying money." When my results came, I had the best marks. All my friends who had paid money did not pass, or get their money back. In those years of study, I learned to trust Jesus and not to do things my way, the wrong way. He is my helper in all that I do.
*You can find this in the Old Testament in Isaiah chapter 43 verse 1