Fear – it’s all around us. Fear of the economy getting worse (or of not being able to feed their family in the current economy). Fear of the the culture’s influence on our children. Fear of terrorism. Fear of Swine Flu.
And our culture feeds into it. The media tells us how awful the Swine Flu pandemic will be (which it might be, so get your vaccine if it’s recommended). They make it sound like each tropical storm is going to be another Katrina. Conservatives tell us that Obama is going to corrupt our children with a speech to children in school. Liberals tell us that Christian fundamentalists are going to take over the government. Environmentalists want us to believe that we have only a few more years of life on this planet.
According to “It’s a Jungle Out There” by Randy Newman (theme song from Monk),
People think I'm crazy, 'cause I worry all the time
If you paid attention, you'd be worried too
You better pay attention
Or this world we love so much might just kill you
I could be wrong now, but I don't think so
It's a jungle out there
But Jesus tells us (more than once!) not to be afraid. According to everything above, we absolutely should be afraid. But, Jesus tells us otherwise. And that what Max Lucado wants us to learn from his book, Fearless.
With his signature prose, Lucado goes through the most common fears of mankind and reminds us that Jesus is the answer to all of them. He tells us that we don’t have to worry about not mattering, because we mattered enough to Jesus that He died for us. We don’t have to fear loss of stuff because we can’t trust stuff in the first place. The answer to all of our fears is Jesus.
A couple of things really stood out to me in this book. I loved the chapter on the fear of disappointing God. In this chapter, Lucado reminds us that we can have courage to tackle whatever God puts before us because we know that God has forgiven us. The connection between forgiveness and courage is one that I had not seen before but it makes sense. I can have courage because of God’s grace. How amazing!!
My other favorite chapter was “Fear of God Getting Out of My Box.” In the last several years, I have seen God do lots of things in my and my family’s life. We are stronger and love each other more deeply. Yet, God didn’t work in the box I had made for Him. If He had done that, I would be done with my headaches and be back at work. Instead, He has done what He wants to do. This chapter was affirming to me that God is God and I don’t have to be afraid of letting Him be Himself. God knows what He’s up to, even when I don’t. And the end result is much better than I could have imagined. So, there’s no need to be afraid.
This is an excellent book that I can highly recommend. It is quite readable. Lucado includes a number of stories and examples, but not so many that the message gets cluttered. He remains focused on how we can leave a Fearless life in Jesus.
For more information, check out the Fearless website. You can purchase the book at Amazon or Thomas Nelson. There are discussion resources at the back of the book and a small group discussion guide is sold separately. Enjoy!