My dad has a theory: the more America moves away from God, the more she fears death. And the more she then spends on health care in futile attempts to stay alive.
But he counters that fear with the promises that Christ gives us, and with the factual resurrection of Christ himself.
Death is not to be feared. Your last moment is not your worst. Five hundred witnesses [to Christ’s resurrection] left a still-resounding testimony: it’s safe to die….
Death—“a new adventure in existence.” No need to dread it or ignore it. Because of Christ, you can face it.
In all, Max addresses 13 fears:
- 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
- Fear of God getting out of my box
In his typical engaging style, he intermingles witty word plays, touching stories, and Biblical truths.
Seek first the kingdom of wealth, and you’ll worry over every dollar. Seek first the kingdom of health, and you’ll sweat every blemish and bump. Seek first the kingdom of popularity, and you’ll relive every conflict. Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you’ll jump at every crack of the twig.
But seek first his kingdom, and you will find it. On that, we can depend and never worry.
He points out that our fears aren’t grounded in reality, but come as a result of our spiritual amnesia. In relaying the story of the disciples’ fear in the storm on the boat:
Do they remember the accomplishments of Christ? They may not. Fear creates a form of spiritual amnesia. It dulls our miracle memory. It makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is.
But Jesus was constantly calling them, and us, to courage. (Matthew 6:25; 9:2; 10:28,31; 14:27; Luke 8:50; 12:32; John 14:1,3,27)
By chapter 4 “Woe Be Gone,” Max teaches us eight worry-stoppers, using the acronym PEACEFUL:
Act on it.
Compile a worry list.
Evaluate your worry categories.
Focus on today.
Unleash a worry army.
Let God be enough.
With this book, Max has done it again—taken a volatile, scary topic like fear, and broken it down for us with gentle, calm thoughts and imagery based on the words taught by Jesus.
The word “Peaceful” could have even been an alternate title for this book, for when we fear less, we are peace full.