Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691). In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement. In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger. Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).
In Chapter 7 the author answers seven objections:
- I am unaccustomed to suffering (pp. 111-113).
- I am naturally tender and sensitive (pp. 113-116).
- I am unable to withstand small trials (pp. 116-117).
- I am afflicted with depression (pp. 117-120).
- I am afraid God will abandon me (pp. 120-121).
- I am unable to persevere (pp. 122-123).
- I am unable to endure a violent death (pp. 123-124).
Mr. Flavel notes that "God's wisdom has ordered this affliction upon His people for gracious ends and uses. He uses it to make them more tender--watchful, attentive, and careful in their ways, so that they may shun and escape as many occasions of trouble as possible," (p. 118). He concludes that the "more you trust God, the less you will torment yourself," (p. 124).
I found this short treatise on sinful fear very beneficial at this time in my life. I pray that it has been helpful to you as well.
"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).