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D. L. Moody Center president: ‘Without God, fear and dread are natural responses to the broken world we see before us’

November 8, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Fear and anxiety can be debilitating. Some have arachnophobia; some have more serious fears such as natural disasters — some even have intense anxiety surrounding the potential outcomes in the 2022 midterm elections. It’s natural to be afraid of some things. Fear only becomes a problem when it is paralyzing. For Christians, fear has an even bigger effect — it can cause a Christian to stop creating disciples due to their fear.

To help Christians combat their fears and anxieties, D. L. Moody Center (moodycenter.org) President Dr. James Spencer recently released a clear and helpful devotional for Christians struggling with fear. The eight-week devotional, titled Discipleship Against Fear: Becoming One who Fears the Lord,” guides participants through the realities of fear and how Christ-followers should respond when afraid.

“We live in uniquely unsettling times,” Spencer stated. “Despite what we might wish to think, our times are no more or less ‘Christian’ than any other. The world and its nations always align with God’s order to varying degrees. We may feel more comfortable because of certain societal configurations, but such comfort will always be fleeting and false when rooted in the world’s resources, politics, and norms. The world will never provide the sort of security necessary to abolish fear. The world is unstable and vulnerable. Without God, fear and dread are natural responses to the broken world we see before us. It is out of our control and seems intent on overwhelming us.

“Thankfully, Christians are not without God. God is with us. We have inherited an unshakeable kingdom (Heb 12:28). Whatever challenges we may face in our daily lives, we have no need for any ultimate concern because ‘if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his’ (Rom 6:5).”

Spencer continued, “As comforting as the coming resurrection may be, adopting an eternal perspective isn’t always sufficient to keep us from feeling the pressures of the present. Fear is a frequent and legitimate emotion, whether it is the anxiety we feel over social, political, and economic issues or the stress brought on by matters such as sickness or unemployment. It is often what we feel when we have the insufficient capacity to ensure or advance our own well-being.

“Yet, discipleship works against fear. As we obey God’s commands, we entrust ourselves to him. God’s people ‘are encouraged to test the meaning and value of the Bible’s teachings experimentally, by acting upon them, and living them out.’ As we ‘test experimentally’ the word of God, we will find that we will have fewer and fewer reasons to be afraid.”

Discipleship Against Fear: Becoming One who Fears the Lord” is available for free download now.

The D. L. Moody Center is pleased to announce the launch of its new eight-day Bible plan, Useful to God, on the YouVersion app. Drawing on Spencer’s book titled “Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody,” this Bible plan examines eight characteristics evident in the Scriptures and in the life of D. L. Moody (e.g., surrendered, prayerful, humbled, undistracted, and studious). Thousands have already completed the plan, with hundreds more subscribing daily.

The D.L. Moody Center is an independent non-profit organization located in Northfield, Massachusetts. Dedicated to preserving and advancing the legacy of Dwight Moody, the D. L. Moody Center is a catalyst for spiritual formation in New England and beyond through evangelism and discipleship.   

The D. L. Moody Center is not a school. Nevertheless, there is much to learn by studying D. L. Moody and what God accomplished through his life which began in New England, at the Northfield, Massachusetts campus, the heart of Moody’s ministry as well as his childhood home.   

Learn more about D. L. Moody Center by visiting moodycenter.org or follow the ministry on Facebook or Twitter