Voices: Carrying on in chaotic times

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While the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” has become popular again in recent years, it began as a motivational poster seeking to strengthen the morale of the British people in preparation for the difficulties of an impending war—World War II. But the message is one deeply rooted in Scripture.

Throughout the Bible, God reminds his people to be strong and courageous, to be at peace in times of trouble and to be calm in him and in the work of his mighty and faithful hands (Joshua 1:9, John 14:27, Romans 8:28 and many other passages).

Carrying on in Christ’s promises

In these chaotic times, followers of Christ do well to remember the promises of his word and the testimony of his faithfulness. Because of this, we—more than any others—carry on in life and faith as beacons of true hope and life. We can remain calm in the storms of chaos, because we know the One who holds the future and the present.

Carrying on in generosity

Most certainly, we follow the wisdom of good health and hygiene and exercise good citizenship in doing our part to stymie the spread of the virus.

We also exercise our faith through prayer, peace, kindness and generosity. We check on our neighbors and the vulnerable God puts in our path and our community. We share both our faith and our resources to meet the needs we encounter.

An important part of this is the continuing needs of our church and its ministries as we continue to give faithfully and encourage others to do so, remembering the ministry and needs of the church continue, as well.

Carrying on in opportunity

In 2018, my home community of Stephenville experienced a severe ice storm that ravaged the trees and homes of our town and county. We missed two worship services in a matter of weeks because of the storm. Our ministry opportunities, however, increased as we housed multiple chainsaw crews from Texas Baptist Men for almost a month.

Through the continued faithful and sacrificial giving of our congregation, we were able to meet our regular needs and the additional ministry opportunities God put in front of us. This fellowship was a true testimony of keeping calm and carrying on, because our God is an awesome God, further evidenced by the many decisions for Christ that occurred during that time.

I have thought a great deal about my former church this week—Valley Grove Baptist Church in Stephenville. Their example of faithfulness in doing and giving in difficult times spurs me on to do likewise in these trying and tumultuous days.

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But this is not just the testimony of a single church; it’s the testimony of Texas Baptists. I am confident Texas Baptists will meet this season’s trial with peace and generosity yet again.

Ward Hayes is the treasurer and chief financial officer for Baptist General Convention of Texas. Those seeking more information about online giving options can visit TexasBaptists.org for a list of some of the vendors known to be used by our churches. This list will not be exhaustive.

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