The pressure to perform in sport will have been felt by all of us at some point or other. Whether it is the pressure of a coach, a parent, the crowd. Whether it is peer pressure of team mates or an internal pressure we place on ourselves - we all know the pressure to perform. Sometimes this helps us to thrive and focuses our mind and abilities, yet often it can cause us concern and be unhealthy. How do we handle pressure as a Christian?
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
In this letter, Peter is encouraging the church who were under continual pressure to quit and conform by the society around them. He urges them to rely on God and identify with Christ’s sufferings so as to continue in Him through the pressure, rather than fold under it.
It is so easy to forget, in the pressure cooker of sport, who is really in control. Peter urges us to remember that God is in charge and to trust Him and His purposes.
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
To ‘cast’ something on someone is to give over your concerns and worries - not cling to them yourself. Therefore, to grasp the fact that the God who made the universe hears, understands and cares for us, provides us with great assurance in the midst of the pressures we face.
When pressure comes, our response from this verse is twofold:
Worry and prayer are two great opposing forces in Christian experience. Prayer is a great tool for us against worry and for when we are under pressure. Training and competing might remain affected for some time therefore in small groups, share your concerns and struggle from your sport and pray for each other that you would remember that God’s in charge and that He cares for you through it all.
All Bible quotations are taken with permission from the NIV:
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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