When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety [Book Review]

when-i-am-afraidFear is powerful. It’s something we all experience. It does not discriminate based on age, gender or stage of life. Each of us has something in our lives that causes us varying degrees of fear but what happens when that fear becomes debilitating and life-stealing?

Hot Topics

In Ed Welch’s study, When I Am Afraid: A Step-By-Step Guide Away From Fear and Anxiety a variety of topics are discussed that cause us to be fearful:

  • Money
  • Death
  • Fear of Man (peer pressure, perfectionism)
  • Heights
  • Crowds

 Welch begins,

 Fear is the perfect problem. No doubt it can be paralyzing and painful. When it  comes, your goal is to get rid of it immediately. By its very nature fear tells you to run rather than face whatever is causing it. The problem can be life-dominating. But it is ideal in this: God reserves his most persuasive, beautiful, and comforting words for fearful people. If you are familiar with fear, and we all are, get ready to hear something good (1).

Although we may not be eager to discuss our fears we don’t have to be afraid because God meets us at our point of need with, Himself.


When I Am Afraid is a stand-alone study-guide companion to Welch’s Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest. The book is a seven-week study that focuses on helping the reader; not only identify anxiety producers in one’s life, but to also know what God’s word says to us amidst our fears. Chapters include:

  • Week 1: Fear and Anxiety Speak Out
  • Week 2: The God of Suspense Reveals His Plans
  • Week 3: The King Comes Close and Talks about Money
  • Week 4: The Living God Speaks about Death
  • Week 5: The Loving Father Woos You from the Fear of Man
  • Week 6: The God of Hope Keeps His Promises
  • Week 7: The Lord Reigns—Things Are Not the Way They Seem

This resource could be used for individual or group study and is appropriate for both teens and adults. Chapter content and workbook content are concise and to the point making it an accessible tool that can generate actionable dialogue very quickly. The reader is set up to answer appropriate heart questions and set goals and actions in response to each chapter’s focus.

Scripture Rich

Throughout each chapter Welch takes you through the faith journeys of Israel and David noting relevant passages of God speaking to their fear and doubt. Exodus and the Psalms are often cited,

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)

The Scripture passages throughout demonstrate how biblical characters struggled and matured with their fears as they looked to God for hope, peace and rest. Welch’s book captures these timeless themes but brings them close with thoughtful reflection questions that make every truth personal and real. It’s a “take action” kind of book that should be in every counselor’s toolbox.

Additional Resource

Download these Scripture memory cards to help you meditate on God’s Word as you battle anxiety.

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