Putting Fear in Perspective

I have come to understand more deeply just what it means for God to be with us.

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… believers are oftentimes exposed to the most horrible dangers in their journey to heaven; but, so long as they are ‘rooted and grounded’ in the Rock of Ages, they are perfectly secure.” – D.L. Moody

God is with us

In reflecting on what it means to approach life as the body of Christ, I have come to understand more deeply just what it means for God to be with us. It does not mean that we will not experience trouble. It doesn’t even mean that we won’t feel fear and anxiety. It does mean that even when we are “exposed to the most horrible dangers,” we can rest easy knowing that the body of Christ will endure to the end. As I wrote in Thinking Christian, “Great, faithful leaders do not live forever, and ‘golden ages’ are a fleeting blessing. The body of Christ will endure, but empires and institutions will run their course.”


Responding to fear from a place of security

If the first part of the quote above is sobering, the second is hopeful: the body of Christ will endure even when the rest of the world seems to be falling apart. Once we understand that God is with us and will safeguard His Church, we can begin to develop the sort of habits we need to live differently in a world that is not as it should be. We can learn to respond to trouble without the sort of fears, anxieties, and false confidence that convey a less-than-truthful picture of God to the world. Instead, we can show the world what it means to be “perfectly secure.”


We can show the world what it means to be “perfectly secure.”


Pulled toward Christ

Moody understood something that we need to grasp. He was a man who recognized that, whatever our physical location, our “citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). He understood that, whatever challenges we are facing, we can take refuge “in the shadow of God’s wings” (Ps. 57:1). Moody looked out at the dangers of this life, saw past them, and found on the horizon the destination. That destination was made sure in Christ and pulled Him irresistibly forward despite the dangers of the journey.

A prayer for times of fear

Lord, may we be people who look beyond the dangers to see You. Give us the wisdom and strength to face the ambiguities of this life as women and men committed to offering faithful testimony about You to a world that needs to know You. Help us to develop new instincts and new habits so that we can respond to the dangers we face as a people who know true security. God, show us what it means for us to trust You even in the midst of hard times. Grant us Your comfort and Your peace. Amen.


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Moody Center

Featured Image by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pixabay 


Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody





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About the Author

For more than a decade, James served in academic leadership within biblical higher education. He currently serves as President of the D. L. Moody Center, an independent non-profit organization in Northfield, MA, dedicated to honoring the spiritual legacy of D.L. Moody. James serves on faculty at Right On Mission and as a consultant for Christian colleges and seminaries in the areas of leadership development, online programming, and enrollment management. He also teaches as an adjunct instructor at the collegiate and graduate level in the areas of biblical studies, interpretation, and Christian thought. James graduated with his B.S in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000 before earning his Master of Divinity from Moody Theological Seminary (2004), his M. A. in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College Graduate School (2005), and his PhD in Theological Studies-Old Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (2012). He later attended the Harvard Institute of Education Management and completed a year of executive coaching. James researches and writes in the areas of theology and Old Testament Studies. Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody was published in 2021. He also published Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind in 2020 and co-authored Trajectories: A Gospel-Centered Introduction to Old Testament Theology in 2018. James also co-authored "Isaiah" with Michael Rydelnik in the Moody Bible Commentary and contributed to Marriage: It's Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World, and The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy.In addition to writing on theology and Old Testament studies, James has also published and presented in the areas of online curriculum design, higher education policy, organizational strategies for higher education recruitment, and Christian leadership. James and his family live in the Chicagoland area. He is available to speak in the areas of Christian leadership, Christian theology and contemporary issues, Christian identity in the digital age, biblical higher education and college choice, and Old Testament theology. .

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