Nearly 30 years ago, I prepared a manuscript for a book titled, "Lord, I'm Afraid," and sent it to a publisher of some of my other books. In the introduction, I wrote the following:
"Fear is a monster that stalks us all. It brings depression, stifles ability, drains energy, diminishes courage and robs life of adventure and success.
"Some fears are real and others are imaginary. Who has not been troubled by some impending tragedy that never happened? In those cases, we are relieved to have escaped unharmed. But, have we? Who can tell the impact on our bodies and minds during these times of waiting in fear?"
Along with the manuscript, I enclosed a letter to the publisher's editor saying this book was intended to provide help for 50 fears. To my surprise, the editor asked if I could double the size of the book and help readers conquer 100 fears.
One hundred fears?
Are there really that many worry makers to confront in life?
After more thought and study, I realized the editor's call for doubling the number of fear fighters in my manuscript was correct and the finished copy of "Lord, I'm Afraid" now out of print helped many during their trembling times. One woman purchased 600 copies for gifts to troubled friends and associates.
One of the most effective fear fighters is simply beginning every day being thankful. Each morning I give thanks that God is bigger than my fears, better than my faith, richer than my debts and stronger than my enemies.
George Mueller, of Bristol, England, who became known worldwide for his great work providing for orphans without ever asking for financial help from others, said trials are not the enemies of faith but opportunities to prove God's faithfulness. This enabled him to start each day expecting his Lord to come through for him regardless of the difficulties he was facing.
A woman in a hospital bed beside which I stood, seemed to be near the end of life. Now in her 80s, she had suffered a severe stroke and was in a deep coma. Her heavy breathing added a sad background rhythm to the scene. I prayed for her but with little hope; everything appeared to be so final.
One week later, this one who had seemed so near death came out of her coma and was soon back to her farm home and busy about her housework. Visitors there found her as positive and thankful as before her illness. God had granted her more years to serve him and she was not surprised. Her additional time to live provided many opportunities to speak to others of his love.
In his book, "God Is My Delight," noted devotional writer W. Phillip Keller wrote, "Steadily, but surely, I have come to realize that every interaction, every command, every principle he has established is for my ultimate good."
Another has simply said, "God is good all the time!"
So what are we worried about?
The one who loves us is in control.
Why not put away our fears and expect the best?
Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich.
He has written more than 20 books and has had articles published in most major Christian magazines. He was a pastor for 22 years and has been a guest speaker in Alaska churches from Anchorage to Homer.
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