Early in his book Fearless, author Max Lucado concisely establishes the premise for his discussion of fear: “The promise of Christ and the contention of this book is simple: we can fear less tomorrow than we do today.”
Fear is not willing to share our heart with happiness. When fear moves in, happiness complies and leaves. Fear unleashes a multitude of doubts, which in turn trigger anger. We become control freaks, trying to establish some sense of order in our life. Spiritual amnesia develops- we forget God’s goodness. We play it safe, afraid to take risks.
The author then devotes entire chapters to specific fears and ways to overcome them. Eight of those fears are listed here:
1. Fear of insignificance- creates the very results it seeks to avoid; we need to affirm what God says about us (Psalm 139:4).
2. Fear that God’s grace has limited funds and that prayer won’t help: rather than avoid contact with God, we need to rely on God’s Word, which overpowers self-criticism and self-doubt.
3. Fear of like itself breeds perpetual uneasiness- we need to expand our resources to help us cope, knowing that our Father is standing by us, ready to help.
4. Fear of sinking fast- while we expect to find Jesus in peaceful settings, He does His best work in storms.
5. Fear of worst-case scenario: we need to offer honest prayers to God, letting Jesus take our hand and lead.
6. Fear of scarcity- we need to trust in God’s provision.
7. Fear of what’s next- God always is with us; change is to be accepted and embraced.
8. Fear of the Lord- the one healthy terror. Max explains by citing Ellen Davis (Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament):
“When God is fully revealed to us and we ‘get it’, then we experience the conversion of our fear. . . . ‘Fear of the Lord’ is the deeply sane recognition that we are not God.”