Focus on the Family posted an article about teen drug and alcohol abuse. It suggests that being under the influence of these things leads to decisions that would not be made when sober. A teen put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger while under the influence of marijuana, and it changed his life. He has had many surgeries and is on permanent medication for the rest of his life now, along with being paralyzed on one side. What started as an innocent game of Russian roulette, ended with permanent disability. While it may sound cliche, if you are looking for relief from pain, drugs and/or alcohol only makes it worse in the end. If you are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse there are resources to help you learn the physical and emotional effects of these narcotics.
Song of the Week
Jonathan Traylor released an EP titled Closer Than You Think. Traylor joins the growing list of gospel-inspired, modern worship leaders such as Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine. His latest project also features some rap, which is an unorthodox but still exciting combination. His testimony is incredible, coming from an abusive home, but a mom that never stopped praying. This makes it all the more amazing that he's able to write songs like This Kind of Love and I'm Good that talk about the goodness of God's love and how it brings healing to the most broken places in our lives. It's definitely worth a listen if you are intrigued by gospel and/or rap.
Check out our running playlist of this season's songs on Spotify here.
We like to think that following Jesus is a life free from pain, but this simply isn't the truth. The two stories mentioned earlier are proof of this. In John 16, Jesus warns us that we will face difficulties. What separates Christians from other people though is that we have the hope and unconditional love of a Savior that has conquered the world, including death. While this isn't going to make all of our issues go away, it's something we absolutely must hold on to in our darkest moments. Additionally, there are so many people out there that need this kind of hope, even if they don't realize it. As Christians, we are called to share this hope with others, and using our stories and experiences is an incredible way to personalize the Gospel story.
John 16:33 - I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
While we must face challenges in this life, we can have peace, knowing that God is right there alongside us through both the good and bad times. Jesus understands pain, temptation, and suffering as he has endured all of those things here on Earth. He died on the cross to carry our burdens for us. Whatever you are facing, you can ask for the gift of God's supernatural peace and know that He has already overcome any struggles we face.
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The vision of the Student Leader Weekly is to empower high schoolers (alongside adult leadership) with practical ministry ideas.