Imagine Your Life Without Fear
Author: Max Lucado
Hard Cover, 224 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
First, thanks to Thomas Nelson (http://brb.thomasnelson.com) for this review copy of Fearless!
This book attempts to put life in perspective, helping believers realize that fear destroys life rather than increasing its joy. Max Lucado addresses a number of key areas that can (and often do) cause us to fear. They are so commonplace that they all hit home in one way or another. The book is a call to individuals to live outside fear of the day to day, trusting in Christ who has given us every reason to throw off fear, and hope in him.
Lucado is able to bring together a number of stories and a lot of Scripture to make a book that is very encouraging for those fighting fear. I read the first chapter unimpressed, but the farther in I got, the more powerful the text was. While I read straight through, there seems little need to do this; each chapter speaks to a particular fear we face as members of humanity: the fear of not mattering, of disappointing God and others, of failing in our obligations at work and at home, of economic fallout, of death, of not having enough, and many more.
In the context of my own life, I found chapter 12 (Fear That God is Not Real) to be the most poignant. Lucado presents the fear of the disciples, and the fear of many in our day. He moves from the death of Christ to the promise of hope found in encountering the living Jesus, touching his body. He then brings that into perspective for those of us who don’t have that direct contact with the physical body of Jesus. We have the body of Christ, believers who we can encounter, and see Jesus operate through. As we struggle together, encouraging and challenging each other, we have the opportunity to find hope and security in God’s presence. This was a very encouraging and thought-provoking line of reasoning for me.
Lucado centers his thoughts on the Bible and what it offers to us about fear. And seldom does he miss the mark. His comments on Jeremiah and his response to fear (p 74-75) stood out powerfully to me. But there are moments where I felt that he pushed the text further than it would go, as in his use of the Genesis story of the fall as a picture of how fear is a cause of sin. I agree with the author that fear is a cause of sinful behavior, but I think his use of scripture in this case doesn’t really stand up – more suggestive than definitive.
This is a good book to read when you are struggling with doubts, insecurity about the future or your own worth to God. I think this would be a great book to offer someone who has been pulled away from Christ by the cares of life. Overall, I would give the book a rating of ★★★☆☆.