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Embracing Pressure
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In preparation for Super Bowl XLIII, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner said, “I embrace the opportunity to have pressure. Pressure is a privilege.”

Warner should know. In addition to going to Super Bowl XLIII with the Cardinals in 2009, he also quarterbacked the St. Louis Rams who went to the Super Bowl twice and won it in 2000. That's a lot of pressure. But what's his point about pressure being a privilege? Well, if you find yourself under pressure, most likely it's because something is expected of you either by yourself or by someone else. You are needing to accomplish something. Pressure is potential in progress.

Potential in progress. That perspective truly does make pressure a little easier to endure, doesn't it? Nevertheless, in order to endure the process, we can benefit by having some clear ways to embrace the pressure.

Recognize the privilege of pressure. In Luke 12:48 we are told, “To him who is given much, much is required.” Be careful not to obsess about what is required without also recognizing that being required to produce is the result of first having been given much! When the pressure begins to build, we need to stop and focus on why we are being called (either by ourselves, others, or God) to produce. It's because we are in a position to give as a result of first having been given the potential to do so.

Balance of Strength

Embrace the privilege of pressure. God never provides a situation of pressure without providing a balance of strength. James said, “There is no need for anxiety. Instead, bring your requests to God with thanks... peace that passes understanding....protect your mind....” So, there we have it. God's promise that we have no need to give in to pressure as long as we are thanking God for being a presence during the process. And the added bonus provided in that promise is that God will guard our minds.

Plan well. In Proverbs 16:3, Solomon counsels, “Commit your plans to God and you will succeed.” Giving total trust to God for the outcome of our plans is sometimes very hard to do, though. After all, the promise doesn't say our success will be in line with our own expectations. It just promises success.

Kurt Warner couldn't know the outcome of any of the Super Bowls, but as a Christian, he committed the pressure to God and let God define success. We should all do the same. Not many of us will ever be a quarterback in the NFL, but we are all active players in the game of life, dealing with pressure—and potential in progress!

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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