04 February 2010

Fearless by Max Lucado

I've been reading "Fearless" by Max Lucado with great interest. Fear is something I've wrestled with all my life, and I think I can honestly say, with the Lord's help, I'm making progress on this front. So when I saw this title available on Booksneeze, which is a site that gives me books for free in return for reviewing them, I thought it sounded intriguing.

I love Max Lucado's writing, and this book hasn't been a disappointment! I just fininshed Chapter 8 entitled "This Brutal Planet". He deals with the age old question: "Why do Christians experience suffering and violence?" I can't type out the entire chapter here, but he makes some pretty good points.

We live in a world that Adam and Eve turned over to Lucifer by obeying him rather than God. He (Lucifer) has been trying to kill and destroy us ever since. Max mentions Hebrews 11 which names many "heroes of the faith" like Abel, who though "being dead still speaks"; Enoch, who "did not see death"; Noah, who "became heir of the righteousness"; Abraham and Sarah, whose descendants are as "innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore". On the other hand, "Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trials of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented."

Nobody has ever died a more violent death than Jesus himself endured. As Mr. Lucado points out, "A calmer death would have sufficed. A single drop of blood could have redeemed mankind. Shed his blood, silence his breath, still his pulse, but be quick about it. Plunge a sword into his heart. Take a dagger to his neck. Did the atonement for sin demand six hours of violence?

No, but his triumph over sadism did. Jesus once and for all displayed his authority over savagery. Evil may have her moments, but they will be brief. Satan unleashed his meanest demons on God's Son. He tortured every nerve ending and inflicted every misery. Yet the master of death could not destroy the Lord of life. Heaven's best took hell's worst and turned it into hope." (end of quote)

He never promised us an easy life as His followers. He did promise to never leave us or forsake us, and that He goes to prepare a place for us so we can be with Him forever after this life. He also said, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." (Matt. 10:28)

To get back to the book, Mr. Lucado addresses many types of fear that bind us up and keep us from living the life God intended for us. Some of the fears he deals with include:

fear of not mattering
fear of disappointing God
fear of running out
fear of not protecting my kids
fear of overwhelming challenges
fear of worst-case scenarios
fear of violence
fear of the coming winter
fear of life's final moments
fear of what's next
fear that God is not real
fear of global calamity
and the one healthy terror: fear of God getting out of my box

Fear is not of God. This book helps equip us to triumph over it.

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