Why is rejection so painful? Where does our fear to fail take us? What is the difference between being alone and feeling lonely? Yeury Ferreira, in his book Vive Sin Temor [Living Without Fear], invites us to reflect on these and other questions that delve into the fears lurking behind every human being. They are as intimate as common. They often prompt us to look away from God, who is incessantly looking to love and restore us.
Reading Ferreira’s book guides us toward the origin of our fear of rejection, failure, and loneliness. The book also explains the various ways these challenges trap men and women in a sphere of fear. It subtly connects contemporary experiences with biblical stories, which, in turn, moves the reader closer to the most private and spiritual of human conditions. In the final analysis, the book is a valuable invitation to readers to deepen their knowledge about fear through a deep and involved study of the Bible, and what it says about living without fear.
The book has nine chapters and 10 Bible studies on fear and how a Christian should approach its challenges in his or her life. Contents are contextualized to our times of pandemic, constantly inviting the reader to ongoing insights. After an introductory chapter, the book briefly discusses various types of fears that weigh heavily on humans, and how fear relates to real issues of life, such as rejection, failure, the unexpected, the future, loneliness, disease, and death. These fears are introduced as pervasive and natural in our contemporary society. The author approaches each one in the spiritual sphere through biblical reflections, showing how fear is related to the power and presence of sin in life, and how fears can be overcome by being closer to God and His Word, which gives us this assurance, “‘Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God’” (Isaiah 41:10, NKJV).* Ultimately, fearing God and being closer to Him provide foolproof armor against any sickening fear in life.
The author begins his study on fear by discussing various fears that the COVID-19 crisis triggered in relation to health and national economies. An analysis of the human situation before the pandemic shows that there was an inclination toward those damaging fears, which do not discriminate between different people and can take control of the mind, often voiding reason.
Ferreira goes beyond fear’s neurological and psychological implications to focus on its spiritual relevance. The Bible discusses fear on a significant number of occasions, tracing its origin to the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve’s fear occurred after they disobeyed and distanced themselves from God (Genesis 3:10). Against that reality, the Bible repeatedly invites us to shorten, through faith, the distance that separates us from God. Thus, to the author, the essence of faith “implies taking God at His word and trusting that He will do what He has promised” (p. 16—translation provided).
The author then turns to discuss rejection. When fear of rejection places our self-esteem in the hands of what is around us, how can we have the assurance of our worth beyond current circumstances? How can we face rejection victoriously?
Fear of rejection, the author argues, often leads to fear of failure. But neither the fear of rejection nor the fear of impending failure should be allowed to dominate the life of a person whose faith in God remains firm and unshakeable. To support that central recommendation for dealing with fear of any kind, the author uses Joseph’s story as an example of our daily struggles and the reality of overcoming those struggles—even as we reach up to claim victory over fear of failure. Here the author stands at his strongest point: Fear of failure may seem real and strong, but to surrender to that fear does not need to be the ultimate resolution. Victory over every kind of fear is within the reach of a Christian whose life stands on faith—not just ordinary faith, but faith in the God who never lets the believer down. “‘With God,’” assures the biblical promise, “‘all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26).
After claiming that assurance, the author moves to discuss fears relating to the unexpected and the uncertainty of the future. Just as the disciples of Jesus experienced an unexpected storm on the Sea of Galilee, we all encounter unexpected circumstances that are beyond our control. When that happens, when a cloud of stormy emotions overpowers us and when we are not able to control what is happening, who will quiet the thunder in our lives, and how can we sail to safety even as we face the winds of the unexpected in the sea of uncertainty? The author shows us the answer: Fear of any kind stands stripped of its power by the unfailing surety of faith.
The author further expands his study to discuss how fear of the present and the future deprives human beings of many hours of sleep and peace. This kind of fear has caused many to stumble and embrace deceitful divinatory practices. The biblical counsel firmly condemns God’s children consulting magicians and palm readers and asking them to predict their future. Trust in God is a sure and certain way of knowing that in Him we can find an infallible tool against our fears of a transient and unknown future.
Finally, the author offers 10 lessons relating to 10 fundamental truths of faith, including such titles as: “The Truth About Salvation,” “The Truth About the Day of Rest,” and “The Truth About Christian Baptism.” (translation provided) Each lesson raises a series of questions organized in a thematic format, with answers from the Scriptures that guide the reader to know Christ and understand what He can to enhance the spiritual and faith growth of the reader.
Given its deep commitment to the discovery of truth, and its pleasant and relatable writing, the book will meet the spiritual needs of readers. Those who have already decided to walk with Christ will have the opportunity to examine their condition and include God more fully as they face their worries. Those who have not yet thought about searching for God will find a satisfactory reason to do so. This book offers us an opportunity of getting close to our Creator and surrendering our human condition to the only One able to comfort us.
* Scripture references in this book review are quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible. Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Leylén Marcó (English Studies: Language, Literature and Culture Degree, National University of Distance Education [Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia], Spain), currently teaches English in Argentina. E-mail:
Leylén Marcó , "Vive sin Temor(Living Without Fear)," Dialogue 34:3 (2022): 29-30