This morning Atty. Juvy Victoriano-Dioso (professor of Criminal Law review at UNO-R, Bacolod City) and I talked to a group of law graduates, led by Errol Parpa, who are preparing to take the bar. My topic was “The Role of Faith in Preparing for the Bar: A Personal Perspective.” I shared with them some excerpts from my diary from that period of my life (almost 15 years ago) which I am now posting here:
“May 4, 1992. Dear Lord and Father, please help me to pass the bar. I want to do this first and foremost for you; and also for my mom and dad.”
“July 23, 1992. Read Psalm 75. Verse 7 says, ‘God is the judge: he puts down one and exalts another.’ The bar then is in the hands of God. May it please him to bless my efforts and cause me to pass with flying colors, along with my friends whom it may please Him also to cause to pass.”
“Aug. 28, 1992. Don’t lose hope. It may be that God will help me to successfully pass the bar. And thought it may be nothing more than a ‘maybe’ , yet while it exists there is still ground for hope, and a good ground at that. For who knows but that it is indeed God’s will that I pass?…
“God has promised to that he will help me and strengthen me (Isa. 41:10). I do not know, however, if it is his will that I pass the bar. However, it ‘may be’ that it is his will that I pass the bar; and, if so, then surely he will help me to pass it. On the basis of this ‘maybe’ I will, God-willing, attack the bar exams with and new and fresh confidence. I will, God-willing, be bold and very courageous, acting as if indeed I am sure of passing the bar exams, acting as if indeed God will help and strengthen me to pass the said exams. Yes, I will venture on the possibility of his willingness and power to help. For who knows but that upon seeing my faith, weak though it may be, he will honor it with success?”
[What follows are quotations and Bible verses which I copied into my diary.]
” ‘I will have to trust in God anyway sooner or later, so why not trust in him now?’ ”
” ‘Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of his servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.’ (Isa. 50:10)”
” ‘In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ (Isa. 30:15)”
” ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ ”
“Sept. 14, 1992. Praise the Lord! The exams yesterday went very well. The Lord heard my prayer and supplied me with the necessary wisdom, courage and confidence. A verse from his Word sustained and strengthened me: ‘Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor be dismayed… for there be more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.’ (II Chron. 32:7-8) God is so good! The joy and satisfaction I felt for having performed very well yesterday, through God’s strength, more than compensated for the discouragement I felt last Sunday over my labor exams. Yes, yesterday the Lord reassured my of his help and love. In fact, after the exams, I opened my Bible and chanced to read this verse, ‘I have loved you with and everlasting love; therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn thee.’ Thank you so much, Father; thank you so much.
“I make a record of these things so that I may not forget for the rest of my life that on one particular day involving a crucial time in my life, the Lord stood by me, in order to reassure me of his love and faithfulness towards me, and worked mightily in my behalf. Again, praise the Lord!”
“April 13, 1993. PRAISE THE LORD!!! He helped me pass the bar! Truly, Father, you are faithful and loving towards me, though I am so unworthy and sinful. Thank you very much, thank you so much.
” ‘I know the plans I have for you – plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”
I then summarized my talk in this way: During the bar –
(1) I PRAYED for God’s help;
(2) I PONDERED on God’s promises; and
(3) I PRESSED ON in spite of discouragement.
Juvy spoke next and gave some very helpful tips, such as the need to maintain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. She also stressed that what matters most is dependence on God. She also sang the song which encouraged her while taking the bar!
(I must also mention here that my wife, a medical doctor, gave to the same group, a very helpful talk last night on stress management, and capped her talk by quoting I Peter 5:7 – “Casting all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.”)
After that I offered a prayer of blessing for the group.
We had a great time and we thank God for the opportunity to be instruments of his blessing to these law graduates.