We’ve all seen the famous poster that says “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It was released by the British government in 1939 to encourage the city of London during the Nazis’ terrifying bombings. Since then it has been repurposed countless times to fit any variety of messages, everything from “Keep Calm and Have A Cookie” to “Keep Calm and Use The Force.” Why is this idea so universally resonant? Because human beings are always afraid of something! The fear centers in our brains are a big reason our earliest ancestors survived on a tough and inhospitable planet.
But as Christians, we’re told to have a very different response to fear. Just like the citizens of London, we’re told to “keep calm.” The most frequent command in the Bible is “do not be afraid,” and it occurs 70 times in the New International Version.
We live in troubled times, and we might be tempted to think that, in the here and now, there are certainly times when we should be afraid! But listen to what the Psalmist says: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1-3 NIV).
Later in that same psalm, the author lets us know what God thinks of those big catastrophic-type events. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’” (Psalm 46:10 NIV).
In that stillness, we will find the peace that Jesus offers us, peace made available each and every day by the Holy Spirit. Because even when it seems like there’s a new reason to be afraid everywhere we look, Jesus encourages us to look instead to him for our peace, and to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.