Keep Calm and Carry On


Most of my heritage is overwhelming British. We Brits are notorious for being organized and disciplined almost to a fault. Decorum, protocol, and official procedure take precedent over emotions. Maintaining a stiff upper lip in the fray of conflict and chaos is an absolute cultural necessity to survival. Duty is paramount. Brave tenacity is greatly admired. Cowardice and panic are matters of disgust.

The slogan, “keep calm and carry on,” captures the mood of the of the British psyche. It was officially presented in the form of posters at the beginning of World War II, encouraging citizens to stand firm in the face of imminent danger as the Germans began to ruthlessly bomb England’s civilian population. France had fallen and the outlook for Great Britain’s survival was existentially bleak. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, rightly observed, it was the nation’s “finest hour.”

So, where am I going with this? It is nearly impossible that anyone could be unaware of the worldwide political and cultural upheaval that is provoking an avalanche of anxiety upon us all. The future looks increasingly bleak.

Bible believing Christians understand that we should not be surprised. Jesus said that there would be days like these. “Stand firm” was and remains His answer (Mark 13:13). The idea conveyed in this, and other similar passages is that we need to patiently endure and to persevere in the face of hate and persecution if we are to be saved.

Staying calm is certainly important if we are to stand firm. A “Chicken Little” response would be counterproductive and play into the hands of our true enemy, the devil. He counts on the discord and panic that can so easily overtake the weak at heart. He counts on mankind to turn on itself and to self-destruct. History confirms that fact.

Wisdom and courage are necessary for our salvation. We need a lot of both because we are not struggling with flesh and blood (other people), but with the evil spiritual forces of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12-13). We need to be alert and ready to stand firm … calmly. The “day of evil” may be closer than we want to realize.

What about “carrying on”? The Bible is loaded with sound doctrine that forms our official guide for living a life that pleases the Lord. We have been charged to be good witnesses to unbelievers. Too often, however, we Bible believing Christians spend more time squabbling about the details of the Word than we do demonstrating its intended effect in our daily lives. Theology is important but its practical application is what the world sees about us and the validity of our faith.

A few years ago, I found an article written by Rev. Bill Shuler, pastor of Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virgina, entitled “10 lessons I’ve learned in 25 years of ministry.” I am still impressed by its timeless relevance. Here are some basic precepts we need to consider if we are to carry on in the face of an ever-increasing hostile environment:

1. The goal is not to win a debate but to redeem the heart.

2. One’s public witness is only as authentic as one’s private integrity.

3. There is no greater source of wisdom than the Bible and no investment that yields greater returns than prayer.

4. Hate is only validated when one responds in like spirit.

5. Jesus should never be presented as less than he claimed to be: the way, the truth and the life.

6. One should live first and foremost so as to please a heavenly audience.

7. One’s legacy is found not in things that matter least but in people who matter most.

8. The generation into which I am born is my calling and it beckons me to be fully engaged.

9. When Jesus paused while dying on the cross to make certain his mother was cared for, he showed how to prioritize family amidst ministry.

10. Sermons can inspire but it is love in action that makes the most profound impact.

Stay calm and carry on in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. We shall reap if we do not grow weary.

Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and generous support. They keep me going.

God bless you.


[LeRoy Curtis is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Asbury Theological Seminary. He served four years as a U.S. Naval Officer after which he became a pastor, Bible professor, educator, author, and missionary living in E. Africa for eight years where he and his wife developed a curriculum of biblical studies for untrained pastors in rural Kenya. His passion for training young church leaders takes him to various parts of the U.S., Latin America, and Africa. He and Judy are currently residing in Carrollton, Georgia.]