Best-selling author, more than 60 books, latest, You’ll Get Through This (2013)
Sold more than 80 million books in 25 years of writing; Dubbed, “America’s Pastor” by Reader’s Digest and “One of the Most Influential Leaders in Social Media” by The New York Times
Currently serving as Minister of Preaching, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX, since 1988
BA Mass Communications, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
MA: Biblical and Related Studies, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
Positions held include: Associate Minister, Central Church of Christ, Miami, FL, Church Planting Missionary, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Married to Denalyn, 3 grown daughters.
Max Lucado: You'll Get Through This
The 700 Club
CBN.com-GETTING THROUGH TOUGH TIMES
In his 30 years of being a pastor, Max Lucado has helped people through tough times. He says he wished he had a book that would have helped those people he ministered to. He wrote his latest book, You’ll Get Through This, to help people through tough times and to fight despair. Max says despair is the enemy. It opens the door to the devil. When we get to the point of no hope that is where we make bad decisions. It is hope that will help us get through our tough times. We’re all going through something. For example, Max’s son-in-law’s father’s had a tumor came back which he had been battling for years. When something like that happens, people often wonder why do they have to go through these things and it is hard to stay hopeful. God gets us through tough times, but it’s not easy. God doesn’t create evil but can use it for His character development in us and His best for our lives.
THE STORY OF JOSEPH
In the book, Max uses the story of one his biblical heroes, Joseph from the book of Genesis. Joseph was the favorite son of his father, Jacob. His half-brothers were jealous of Joseph and sold him into slavery to some foreign traders. The foreign traders eventually sold him to an affluent Egyptian, Potiphar. Joseph was favored by Potiphar and became his attendant. Under Joseph’s management, Potiphar’s house prospered. Potiphar’s wife noticed Joseph and asked him to sleep with her. Joseph refused, but Potiphar’s wife accused him falsely of attacking her. Because of this Joseph ended up in prison. Joseph found favor in prison and was put in charge of the other prisoners. One day, the Pharaoh of Egypt’s cupbearer and baker were jailed and put in Joseph’s care. The following morning they both had dreams which Joseph interpreted. The dream of the cupbearer showed that he would live and return to serve Pharaoh, while the baker’s dream indicated he would be put to death in three days. Joseph’s prophecies came true. The cupbearer promised Joseph he would tell Pharaoh about Joseph. Unfortunately, the cupbearer forgot his promise.
Some time had passed, but little did Joseph know his life was about to change. Pharaoh had dreams that disturbed him. The cupbearer remembered Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams, and Joseph was summoned to Pharaoh. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams that indicated seven years of good crops then seven years of famine for Egypt. After that, Pharaoh made Joseph the Prime Minister of Egypt, second in command under Pharaoh to prepare for the famine. The years went by. The times of prosperity and famine came, just as God showed Joseph through Pharaoh’s dreams. Because Egypt had an abundance of food stored, people from everywhere came to buy grain. One day, Joseph noticed that the same brothers who sold him into slavery many years before came to Egypt to purchase food. They did not recognize him. Joseph used this opportunity to show his brothers that he forgave them. Eventually, he was reunited with his father Jacob, their families were saved from the famine, and their descendants ultimately went on to form the nation of Israel
What we learn from the story of Joseph is that he was able to endure one challenge after another. He survived and thrived before coming to the position of honor that God had for him. His story inspired Max to find out what Joseph knew and study what he did to get through his trials.
ALONE BUT NOT ALL ALONE
An important lesson we can learn from the story of Joseph is that we are alone but not all alone. He succeeded because God was with him. He learned to “look higher” to God and rely on Him instead of his circumstances. Here are four practical key things to remember:
*Lay claim to the nearness of God – Remember there are many promises in the Bible where God says He is always with us and will never leave us. We may lose the sense of His Presence but He is always there. It is important to know that God is near no matter what our mood or circumstance.
*Cling to his character – Make a list from the Bible of the deep qualities of God and instill them in your heart. Max has a list of qualities that he clings to: “He is still sovereign. He still knows my name. The death of Jesus still saves souls. God is still faithful. He is not caught off guard. He uses everything for His glory and my ultimate good. Sorrow my come with the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
*Pray your pain out – It’s time for tenacious, honest prayers. No matter what you’re feeling towards God,let Him know it and have it. Your words may seem empty and hollow at first. You may mumble or fumble your first thoughts. Don’t quit and don’t hide. The book of Lamentations is an example of the prophet Jeremiah’s raw prayers to God.
*Lean on God’s people – Max says tough times are no times to be a hermit. God’s people purvey His Presence. For example, years ago Max’s wife Denalyn battled depression. One Sunday, she decided to be honest with people at church when they would ask how she was doing. Brief hellos became times of her depression to that Sunday where she found God’s Presence amid God’s people.
THE SURVIVOR’S CREED
When going through these tough times, Max has a creed that encourages and instructs:
You will get through this.
It won’t be painless.
It won’t be quick.
But God will use this mess for good.
Don’t be foolish or naïve.
But don’t despair either.
With God’s help, you’ll get through this.
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