Sometimes when I review books, I find works that are different than I expected. Fight Your Fears: Trusting God's Character and Promises When You Are Afraid by Kristen Wetherell was one of the books where I read something different from my expectations. Fight Your Fears is a beautiful hardcover book published in the Christian Living category by Bethany House. There are full-page quotes from the Bible as well as scripture memory cards of quotes that are the ten key verses of Fight Your Fears. There is even space at the end for your own notes.
Before I choose a book to read, I usually read the description provided (which is often from the book jacket) and sometimes I look up more about the author online. In this case, I was intrigued by this from the back cover:
"We all have fears, and many of us struggle with very real anxiety caused by our fears. Fears about the future; fears about health, job, and family; fears about inadequacy and failure; fears about how much fear itself seems to affect our decisions, plans, and growth in this life. In his Word God commands us not to be afraid, but how is this possible?"
To be honest, if I was reading this book strictly for myself I don't know if I would have finished it. I feel that the description of the book and the introduction don't match up to the text quite like I expected. For example, in the opening paragraphs Wetherell states, "What if I told you that your problem with fear isn't that you are too afraid but that you aren't afraid enough?" (15). Huh? She continues that we need to come to "know and love and fear the One who empowers us in the fight" (16). As someone suffering from anxiety and looking to the book to unpack "ten of God's great and precious promises" to overcome fear, I was not expecting to be told that the author's goal was to make me more afraid.
Even though I was taken back by the first chapter that outlined that we should fear the Lord, I kept reading. I feel I found some new ways to look at fears and problems and there were some good reminders that we should seek to obey God rather than men and that "our God-given limitations exist for a purpose" (158). One of my favorite parts was where Wetherell lists the blessings that God has graciously given us (strength, power, hope, etc.) and her discussion of how man is wrapped up in appearances. So even though there were a few parts that were helpful, I feel that Fight Your Fears was not for me.
Is Fight Your Fears the Book for You?
Depending upon your expectations, Fight Your Fears may be useful for you. The book explores "where does fear come from? Is all fear bad? What is the key to becoming less fearful?" (18). And then it looks at the six promises of God that address our greatest fears. Each chapter closes with the same format: a verse to memorize, a reminder of what to review from the chapter, how to prepare for the future, and a prayer. There is a variety of quotes from the Bible and Christian authors that Wetherell uses to further explain her points.
Fight Your Fears is one review book I have had to go through several times after finishing it to see if I could make more sense of the points the author was trying to make. I think some readers will find the work helpful but it did not meet my expectations.