You’ve probably seen them in a gift store or catalog – those red rectangles with the white lettering and a picture of a crown that say, “Keep Calm and Carry On”.
It’s really from a phrase the British government used to inspire the courage of its citizens during World War 2, but somehow it has taken off in popularity over the last year or two. And it’s popping up on mugs and posters and tote bags. It really is catchy and memorable.
I got thinking about courage and carrying on the other day in a moment when my resolve wasn’t at its strongest. So I started to go to the famous “faith chapter” of Hebrews 11 for encouragement. But God nudged me to look at chapter 10 first. And I found a catchy and memorable phrase of my own.
“Hold fast and don’t lower your sails”.
How would that be on a mug or a poster? Verse 23 (one of my absolute favorites) says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful”. And then later on, verse 38 says, “Now the just shall live by faith, but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him”. The Greek word for “draws back” means to withdraw, be timid, shrink down, LOWER THE SAILS.
If you lower your sails, your ship isn’t going anywhere.
And maybe like those British citizens during the time of war, I need a new phrase to inspire my courage – the courage to hang on when circumstances are confusing, when answers are delayed, when the fight is hard. It may not ever end up in a catalog or on a tee-shirt. But I like it.
Be courageous. Live by faith. Don’t waver. Don’t be timid or shrink down.
And by all means, hold fast and don’t lower your sails.
You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. Deuteronomy 13:4
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:11
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God”. Mark 11:22
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalm 27:14