Fear. Is there a timelier subject? Daily we can count on the news to report the latest death toll, the rising number of infections, and the unmerciful lock downs. Even in the church we hear about evangelist, pastors, and faithful saints who have succumb to the deadly pandemic. In the current situation, fear is a real and deadly issue. The reality is that the church has found out that it is not immune to political divisiveness and the effects of a global pandemic. Simply put fear is not just a world issue it is a church issue.
In his book, “Greater than Fear: Defeating a Cultural Pandemic” Jeremy Gove takes a hard look at fear and in his own words writes “with the specific purpose: to disarm the dynasty of doubt.” Jeremy begins his book by describing his struggle with the paralyzing power of fear. His personal encounter with fear is the entry point into the rest of the book. Jeremy uses several texts to move the reader from the root of fear, “doubt,” to a practical answer for fear. He reminds the reader that the presence of Jesus is the cure for fear. He also reminds the reader that it is incumbent upon them to demonstrate their trust in the Lord through practical-demonstrative acts of praise and worship.
It is refreshing when a writer frames their story around the scriptures. While the book is not a theological treatise on fear; Jeremy shapes the narrative of each chapter around a text from the Bible. Each scripture reference deals with a facet of fear. As an example, in chapter one Jeremy opens the chapter with a reference to Joshua 1:9. He then uses the text to uncover and counter act the root of fear. Doubt, as he explains, “is not your friend.” Indeed, it is in the face of circumstances that would incite fear in any normal person that Joshua is told to “BE.” To be what? “Strong and of good courage.” The rest of the short book takes on the same shape. Although the book is short in length (54 pages) there are several valuable spiritual insights interspersed throughout.
“Anxiety is a thin steam of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
One of my favorite parts of the book was chapter four. There was a quote that struck a chord with my spirit. “Anxiety is a thin steam of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” It is nuggets like these that encourage the reader to reflect on their own spiritual state. Indeed, despite its short length it is an edifying read. On the same note, one gets a sense that the author was just getting warmed up. The short nature of the book leaves the reader wanting more content. Although the author leaves some practical steps to respond to fear, it feels like a somewhat abrupt end. For example, the author encourages the reader to “camp out in the Psalms.” While referring someone who is struggling with fear to the Psalms is sound advice. The author could have taken more time to grapple with the spiritual nature of Psalms, and how they evoke a deeper faith in times of trouble. With that said, “Greater than Fear” is a timely book and an encouraging read. If you, or someone you know is wrestling with fear, I would encourage you to take a few minutes to read Jeremy Gove’s “Greater than Fear.”
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Pastor Daniel Bracamonte is the Founder of the Apostolic Review and serves as the General Editor. He holds a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies at Regent University, and is currently completing an MTS from Regent School of Divinity. He regularly writes articles on theology, missiology, and politics. Pastor Bracamonte has over 20 years of ministerial experience, and for the last 10 years has served as Pastor of Word of Life Apostolic Church in Missoula, MT.