Fearless, by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, 2009)
Fear, it seems, has taken a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversize and rude, fear is unwilling to share the heart with happiness…. Fear is the big bully in the high school hallway…. Fear herds us into prison and slams the doors.
Wouldn’t it be great to walk out? (Fearless, page 5)
I always expect a Max Lucado book to be inspiring, encouraging and worth reading, and this one’s no exception. Max traces fear to its root danger: “Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness.” (page 9) We believe the lie that we’re alone, or that God doesn’t care or can’t help.
Fearless addresses the most common issues head on: the fear of not mattering; of disappointing God; of lack; fear for our children; of challenges and worst-case scenarios; of violence, the future and death; even the fear that God is not real—or that He might not stay in the “box” where we’d like to contain Him.
There’s value in articulating our fear, in looking at it plainly. We can see legitimate need for concern, and we can see when we’re slipping into paranoia. Putting our concerns into words makes them more manageable, and it helps us to pray
Max Lucado gives us nuggets of Scripture to counter the fear, and I think the wisest way to use this book is to prayerfully memorize those bits of truth that are most relevant to our personal struggles. He also gives us practical suggestions, like his “Eight worry-stoppers” in chapter 4.
The discussion guide at the end of the book is another valuable tool for individual or group use. And as Max says, the truth in these pages isn’t something to be absorbed in a one-time exposure. “The parched soil of fear needs steady rain.” (p. 33) We’ll need to re-read it, to reassure ourselves of the message and to let it sink into our spirits.
Fearless is definitely a good weapon for our daily living needs. It’s an easy, well-written read that does justice to the seriousness of the issues. You can read the first chapter of Fearless or listen to the first Fearless sermon here.
New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado has written a number of award-winning books and is a Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. Visit his ministry website, UpWords, to learn more about Max and to be encouraged. The site offers daily devotionals and other resources.
Two other strong resources for defeating fear in our lives are Moving from Fear to Freedom by Grace Fox and So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.