Living Courageously: You Can Face Anything, Just Do It Afraid
Fear. We all face it at some point in our lives --- some of us battle it every day --- and it comes in numerous forms. It is often the root of our behavior. Fear has the ability to paralyze us --- to prevent us from achieving our dreams and God’s will for our lives. But, as the Bible continually instructs us, we are to “fear not,” but instead step out in faith. Even when we are afraid.
This is the basis for New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer’s latest book, LIVING COURAGEOUSLY. The message she wants to get across is neatly conveyed in the subtitle: You can face anything. Just do it afraid.
In the introduction, Meyer sums up what fear is and the fact that God never intended for us to allow fear to control us. As she states, “Please don’t miss this very important point: We take a step to be obedient to God while we feel afraid, and then that releases the grace (power) of God to do what needs to be done.” She wraps up the intro by letting us know this is not a book that claims we will never feel fear; that is inevitable. But she encourages us to be expectant as we begin our journey to conquer the fears that do arise and be everything God wants to be.
"The takeaway value of LIVING COURAGEOUSLY is priceless. To face our fears and 'do life' afraid is something every person will benefit from."
LIVING COURAGEOUSLY is divided into two parts. The first addresses exactly what fear is, where it comes from and how we can overcome it. In this section, you’ll find chapters like “Say Goodbye to Fear,” “Right and Wrong Fear,” “The Source of Fear,” “Phobias,” “Insecurity” and “The Creative Power of Fear and Faith.” The teaching is very strong in this first part and offers many scriptures to back up her instruction. The chapter on insecurity is especially convicting, as this is something we can all relate to, and encourages us to take a deeper look at where our own insecurities come from, as well as how we can gain freedom.
The second half of the book deals with how fear manifests and the prominent fears that people experience. Here, Meyer explores the fear of lack, losing control, not being wanted, being inadequate, not doing enough, the fear of man, of the unknown, of making mistakes, of God’s anger and judgment, fear of intimacy, and the fear of death. She also includes a chapter titled “Are You Passing Your Fears On to Your Children?” which takes a good look at how fear affects not only ourselves but also those we love. Meyer encourages us to stop fear now, to demonstrate faith-filled (instead of fearful) living for our kids.
Each chapter begins with a Bible verse, followed by Meyer’s teaching. In her typical style, she uses a straightforward approach and incorporates personal testimonies that make her the wonderful and dynamic evangelist/teacher she is. While some of these stories have been told in her other books, she always seems to relay them in a unique way that relates to the topic at hand and causes the reader to pause and reflect on his or her own life and the truths being conveyed. At the end of the book, Meyer adds a list of several verses about the power of faith --- excellent scriptures to memorize and recite aloud.
The takeaway value of LIVING COURAGEOUSLY is priceless. To face our fears and “do life” afraid is something every person will benefit from. As quoted by Meyer in the final chapter, “We have what it takes, but we must be active and never give up. Remember, a fall is not a failure! The righteous man falls seven times, and still he gets up again!”
Read this book, then read it again and pass it on to a friend. LIVING COURAGEOUSLY definitely has the power to help us kick fear in the teeth once and for all.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on October 15, 2014