“… 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.
JAMES SPENCER, PHD is President the D.L. Moody Center, an independent non-profit organization based in Northfield, MA, and author of Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody and Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind
Photo credit: Min An