Fight Your Fears: Trusting God’s Character And Promises When You Are Afraid, by Kristen Wetherell
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
I was very impressed with this book, far more than I expected to be at any rate. There are at least a few elements to this book, which appears to be aimed mostly at women but can easily and profitably be read by men as well, that will likely impress the fair-minded or interested reader. For one, the author is willing to throw in quite a few personal references to her own experiences that forced her to face fear and that led her to recognize the struggle that people have in trusting God. I found her story of being the survivor of armed robbery to be particularly moving as that sort of experience can lead to a lot of trauma and feelings of the absence of safety and security for too many. Likewise, the author does well by beginning this book with a reminder that we need to fear and respect God more, a very worthwhile direction to begin (bad news before good news, perhaps), but certainly not the expected direction that someone would take in writing about trust. Altogether I found this book and its approach very impressive.
This book is a bit less than 200 pages and it is divided into three sections and ten chapters. The book begins with a foreword and an introduction that strives to be relatable with the author’s frank discussion of her own fears. After that the first part of the book discusses the problem of fear (I) by discussing both remembering who God is when one doesn’t fear Him enough (1) as well as looking to salvation when one fears condemnation (2). After that the author moves to discuss God’s worthiness to be feared (II) with a look at God’s sovereignty when people fear losing control (3) and God’s goodness when we fear the worst (4). The third section of the book contains six chapters that deal with God’s promises to provide for us when fear fear lack (5), to protect us when we fear evil (6), to never leave us when we fear loneliness (7), to accept us when we fear failure (8), to judge us when we fear man’s judgment (9), and to give us life when we fear death (10). After that the book contains a conclusion that encourages the reader to fight fears, thank yous, and two appendices that include recommended books (i) and scripture memory cards (ii), as well as an index.
By and large, though, I suspect that the book’s readers will mainly be women. The touches of this book, including the pastel color scheme and the scriptural memory cards and the pages devoted to motivational quotes from the book as well as the ending notes at the close of each chapter to learn how to trust God all appear to be focused on a female audience that is a bit high-anxiety but also highly motivated to take what they read seriously. Again, it is important to say that this book contains a great deal of information about fighting fears that is very worthwhile and relevant for men too–certainly men have to deal with fears, even if it is seldom as obviously or openly so as women do it seems–but this book shares some common struggles that many volumes do in being written by a woman and aiming the insight of the author at women rather than thinking what could be done to make the message more appealing to both men and women. This book is certainly anything but bad, but it is a missed opportunity in allowing the author a wider reach that would make her as familiar a name to male readers as to her likely existing base of loyal female readers.