Power Under Pressure
The Pressure Story
Failing under Pressure
Peter's Denial Foretold
Then Jesus said to them, "You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." Peter said to him, "Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you." Jesus said to him, "Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times." Peter said to him, "Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you." And so said all the disciples.
Success under Pressure
Joseph Tempted by Potiphar’s Wife (Gen. 39:1-18)
Genesis 39:9 There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (NKJV)
1. Everyone God created will undergo good times and difficult times. In Each Life God created their will be days of sunshine and rain (Mk 5:45)
2. Don’t be surprised when you’re going through a trial. It’s not strange. God’s intention is that you would come out of it reflecting more of His glory (1 Pe 4:12-13)
I have great news for you today. God created you to win. When God created you, he had a plan. This plan wasn't for you in just to barely make it. God didn't plan for you, just to squeak by. He didn't plan for you to barely survive, He wants you to thrive. When God made you, he planned to bless you and to make you a blessing! He didn't plan for you just to survive, he wants you to thrive! The first thing we have to learn and get deep down into our spirits is a thriving mentality, not just a survival mentality.
The Survival Mentality: The survival mentality says; "I have to get the bills paid, I have to motivate my kids to get better grades, I have to get my spouse to be nicer to me, I want this or that vacation, if I could only have... or, if I could only do... then I would be happy. Does that kind of thinking sound familiar? How about questions like this: "Why can't my prayer life be more powerful? Why can't my Bible reading time, be more meaningful like I've experienced it could be in the past? Why can't I seem to overcome this internal struggle? The problem, all stems from the survival mentality. Did you notice how prominent the word "I" was featured in each and every one of the statements? The first thing we have to do if for going to thrive, not just survive. Is that we have to get our head screwed on straight. Let's take a look at a thriving mentality and see what that looks like.
The Thriving Mentality: The thriving mentality is a thought process that understands, "of course I have to pay the bills, naturally, I want the kids to have good grades, of course, I need a better relationship with my spouse, but my life cannot be defined by those things. These things are byproducts of a well lived life, not the definition of one. Doing all those things is important, but the thriving mentality has a place for everything and everything in its place. Matthew 6:20-21 (NASB) "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Basically it's saying that what you value most, your heart will follow after. So, we need to choose and value and invest our energies in what will truly produce the greatest rewards. That is how you thrive.
God Made You with a Plan
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.\\
There are people God wants us to use you to reach. There are ways God wants to use you to demonstrate her love His power and His grace to others. In fact, I strongly believe that there are people who won't be reached for the kingdom, unless we do it, because God planned that we would have a part in doing that with Him.
God's Plan Is That We Would Succeed, and Not Fail
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. What that means it is that everything, absolutely everything that we will encounter in life is meant to make it succeed. All of our challenges, all of our trials, all of our weaknesses are meant to produce growth in character.
God planned that we would be thoroughly equipped to succeed: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
God's primary goal is not our comfort, but our growth. He wants us to grow up until our every attitude, choice, and behavior matches the character of Christ. Ephesians 4:9-16 (NIV) (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.