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Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest Paperback – October 1, 2007
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--Stephen Arterburn, Founder, New Life Ministries and Women of Faith Author, Reframe Your Life
Fear can make cowards of us all. It can also cripple the mighty, stripping us of confidence and strength to ever face the challenges of ordinary life a terrible way to live. In his characteristic voice which is both authoritative and sensitive, Welch inspires us to turn to God as our champion in our battle with fear.
--Dr. Tim Clinton, President, American Association of Christian Counselors
Worriers are false prophets that insight alone was worth the price of the book, but far, far more awaits the wise reader who explores this brilliant book by Ed Welch. Ed tells our story of fear and worry with compelling honesty and depth. But even more, he invites us to see how our loyal God refuses to abandon us in our fear; instead, he allows our fear to reveal our fragility and desperate need for his presence. I was not only informed and moved by this book; I was invited to worship. This is not merely a book about fear; it is an invitation to a transformed view of God.
--Dan B. Allender, Ph.D., President and Professor of Counseling, Mars Hill Graduate School Author, To Be Told and Leading with a Limp
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At first, I didn't think I was going to like this book. The author calls the thirty chapters "meditations," and, for the first few chapters, I had decided that he didn't really know what that word means. They didn't seem "meditative" at all, to me.
But, if I had been paying closer attention, I would have noticed that part one is called "Initial Observations." That's a good clue. The first four chapters are a sort of "introduction to fear," if you will.
Beginning with part two, "God Speaks," Edward takes the veritable plethora of times that God tells us, "Do not be afraid," and, coupled with God's provision of manna to the Israelites in the wilderness, launches us into a wonderful treatise on how to battle fear and anxiety in our lives.
He covers are propensity to worry (even to worry about worrying), our leaning toward grasping at money and possessions, how we worry about what others think about us, and our fears of death, pain, and punishment (judgment from God).
Finally, he tells us how God speaks peace into our lives.
Perhaps these turned out to be meditations, after all. There are a lot of good points in this book, and I think it well worthy of reading again. We would do well to remember that there are over three hundred occurrences of God telling someone, "Do not be afraid," in the Bible.
I think he means it.
He continues, "All we can see with the naked eye is our own particular frets and fears, but there is something much bigger taking place. Worries are a way that we doubt the King's presence and power. Our doubts could come from our own stubborn commitment to the myth of personal autonomy, or they may come from satanic accusations that question God's generosity and our unworthiness. Either way, anxiety and worry are spiritual wake-up calls that must be handled by spiritual means." (Pg.118)
This book does not provide 10 easy microwave steps to overcoming our fears. Nor does it sidestep the obvious fact that we as Christians can and do suffer in this life. However, Dr. Welch very aptly breaks down the underlying motives and causes of fear and worry; and using Scripture, precept upon precept, turns our eyes toward God and his purposes for us in the Kingdom of His Son. Or in his words, "Track your fears with the light of Scripture and you are directed to God."