Opinion: ‘Stay calm, and trust God’


Commentary by Michael VandenBerg

Have you seen the T-shirts around that say “stay calm,” followed by some mundane activity? I love the sentiment, but sometimes question the advice. Stay calm and keep smiling, stay calm and don’t forget to be awesome, stay calm and be positive, stay calm and pretend it’s not Monday … Well, you get the picture. Maybe what we need to do is to take the advice and stay calm, but look in the right direction for how to do that.

Are you feeling anxious, frustrated, hopeless, helpless, angry, concerned over the upcoming election? There is no doubt it has been contentious, negative, filled with unsubstantiated accusations and focused on personality rather than issues. There seems  to be more people voting against a candidate than positively for a candidate. We read the current climate has created so much anxiety that people are becoming depressed, anxious and feel uncertain about the future.

Maybe it then is time to step back and “stay calm” and look to the Lord. I heard an old video by Billy Graham that said, “After the election, no matter which candidate wins, God will still be in control.” We need to remember that God has not given up his authority to any king, president, prime minister or dictator. He is still God, and we are his creation and his people.

When Nero Caesar imprisoned the Apostle Paul in 58 A.D., his friend and companions deserted him and left him to his own defense. Facing certain death, Paul could have blasted his friends and colleagues but didn’t. Instead, he prayed to the Father that this betrayal not be held against them. He stayed calm and continued instead to both trust in the Lord and to cede to the Lord’s ability to carry out his objectives for his servants, regardless of what else was happening around them.

When Jesus hung on the cross, a guiltless man for the crimes and sins of all of us, rather than panic and take matters into his own hands, he called out to God and asked that the Father forgive those who were persecuting him and not hold these misguided actions against them. He stayed calm and trusted in the Father to achieve his purposes, with or without the cooperation of those around him.

You see, God does not need the right candidate, the right businessperson, the right teacher, the right pastor, in order to achieve His purposes. As someone once said, God does not choose the able, but instead gives abilities to the chosen. God can use you and He can use me, if we continue to just trust in God and not the circumstance around us.

So go to the polls this November, vote prayerfully, hopefully and securely, knowing that God’s got this. He will use the good and the bad, the Republicans, Democrats and independents as he sees fit. He will continue to move our world toward his own ultimate conclusions, and in the meantime, we can “stay calm, and trust God.”


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