Bestselling author Max Lucado is declaring war on fear.
"I really believe Jesus wants us to lead lives in which we fear less," Lucado said at a recent Town Hall in San Antonio, Texas.
Next month, Lucado's newest book Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear releases in stores and Michael Hyatt, CEO of publisher Thomas Nelson, anticipates it will be one of the biggest bestsellers of the year.
"Since the initial development of Fearless, both retailers and customers have noticed an exciting buzz around the book because its message is both timely and relevant," Hyatt said in a statement Thursday as he launched a social media campaign for the book.
"If there's one emotion that is nearly universal, this is it."
Since the announcement of Lucado's upcoming book, hundreds of questions have flooded the author's website and Twitter and Facebook accounts. With slowdowns in the economy, terrorism, global warming, and illnesses dominating the headlines, fear has taken hold of much of the world and many have been left with questions.
"I think the advice here is Jesus told us this would happen," Lucado said, responding to a question about all the negative headlines and realities. "He said 'see to it that you are not alarmed.'"
Translation: "Don't freak out," Lucado explained during the Town Hall last month. "It's going to happen. But these things must happen, he (Jesus) says."
"This world stinks sometimes," the former Oak Hills Church pastor acknowledged. "There's cancer in this world ... there's hunger in this world. And sometimes you're going to pray for things and the prayer's not going to be answered in the way you want it."
He encouraged Christians not to freak out or lose faith when facing storms and to remember what Jesus said.
"We're almost there, he says. And then the end will come."
Addressing the common fear of insignificance, Lucado said, "I really believe that the Amazon River out of which all other fears flow is this one. And that is the fear that I don't matter to God. And because I don't matter to God, I don't matter to anyone else. And my life has no purpose. We fear nothingness ... We fear coming and going and no one knowing."
He continued, "The big message of Jesus in one of his 'do not fear statements' is 'don't be afraid. You are worth more than all the sparrows. The very hairs of your head are numbered. He knows more about you than you know about Him.
"How can you know that you matter? Look at the story of God who became a human being ... because He loves us."
Last month, Lucado shared his "Fearless" message to more than 50,000 people in Brazil. Although the book releases internationally in September, the Portuguese edition was released early to accommodate his Brazil trip.
As he received his first English copy of Fearless this week, he tweeted, "Lord, please use this book as purveyor of courage. Heaven knows, we need it!"
"Fear may fill our world, but it doesn't have to fill our hearts. It will always knock on the door. Just don't invite it in for dinner, and for heaven's sake don't offer it a bed for the night," he says in his book. "Let's embolden our hearts with a select number of Jesus' 'do not fear' statements. The promise of Christ and the contention of this book are simple: we can fear less tomorrow than we do today."
On the Web: thefearlesstimes.com