With the English Premier League season having begun just two weeks ago, the NFL and college football seasons yet to begin, and Major League Baseball postseason still over a month away, it seems an odd time to talk about playoffs—but that is exactly where the PGA Tour now finds itself. This past weekend, with The Barclays being played in New Jersey, the playoff push for the FedEx Cup (and its $10 million prize) is now in full gear. Two separate battles are in place through this playoff run, and both are filled with pressure. The first is for the players in the bottom half of the FedEx rankings, who are trying desperately to stay alive for the next week’s tournament. For those at the top half of the rankings, however, it is the push to get as close to the top as possible in order to be positioned for the grand finale of the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Different players may have different agendas, but the pressure of the playoffs is here—and no one wants to fail. For life outside the PGA Tour, pressure is an everyday occurrence. The pressures of expectations, work, relationships, finances, and dozens more can leave us drained of the very energy we need in order to stand firm against those very pressures, turning our once-strong confidence and commitment into a confused lump of fear and doubt. Under pressure, however, it is good to know that we have a promise from our God that Paul shared with Timothy, a young pastor facing the pressure of ministry in a difficult place:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Instead of the pressures of life driving us to fearful despair, we have in God the resources we need in order to endure. The strength of power, the comfort of love, and the clarity of a sound mind are God’s provision when we face the pressures of life.   Bill Crowder, Sport Spectrum Chaplain