From the President

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​​​"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." – 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

All of us face pressure in our lives. It doesn’t matter how old we are; it doesn’t matter what we do vocationally. It doesn’t matter whether we’re married or not or whether we have kids. We’re all under pressure. Remember the intensity of the middle-school years? Want to repeat those days? How about high school: competing for teams, grades, looks, romance. Facing the temptations so readily available. Trying to fit in. Then we roll into adulthood. Making ends meet. Raising kids. Facing health issues. Trying to succeed professionally and still be a good spouse and parent. Living in the sandwich generation between college kids and aging parents. Then we move into our senior years and there is the pressure of making constant adjustments as we sense our bodies and our situations changing. And all these stages of life are intensified by the spiritual battle all of us face as we love and serve Jesus. Everyone in Young Life — volunteers, staff, friends of the mission — is engaged in this great, holy war.

The Apostle Paul was not immune. In 2 Corinthians he talks about the incredible pressure he faced as a leader in the early church. He didn’t get a pass on pressure because he was such a dedicated believer and follower of Christ. He says words like "under great pressure … far beyond our ability to endure … despaired of life itself … we felt we had received the sentence of death." Ever feel that way? Be honest. I have had times like that and, my guess is, you’ve felt beyond your ability to endure as well.

So what did Paul do in this extreme situation? Did he "suck it up" (like that old coach used to say) and try harder? No. He realized he wasn’t going to be able to rise above the pressure on his own. And he wrote, "But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." He knew he had no chance on his own. But he also knew the same God who raised Jesus from the dead could raise Paul above the fray. "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again." Instead of turning to self, he turned to the Lord. He had a track record with Him.

But there is one more truth in this passage that I don’t want us to miss. "He will continue to deliver us, AS YOU HELP US BY YOUR PRAYERS." Somehow, in the midst of excruciating pressure, we can be helped by others interceding for us. What we need is a band of brothers and sisters who will pray.

Some of us reading this article are so far beyond our ability to endure that we despair of life itself. We don’t know how we can get out of bed and keep it going. In the midst of our discouragement, we need to ask some people to pray for us. PRAYER MAKES A DIFFERENCE. And with our friends engaging in prayer, we rely on the Lord instead of ourselves and wait for His deliverance.​​