Tag Archives: Max Lucado

Max Lucado – Behind Bars

Max Lucado

In 1965 Howard Rutledge parachuted into North Vietnam and spent the next several years in a prison in Hanoi, locked in a filthy cell breathing stale, rotten air trying to keep his sanity. Few of us will ever face the conditions of a POW camp.

Yet, to one degree or another, we all spend time behind bars. After half-a-century of marriage, my friend’s wife began to lose her memory.  A young mother called, just diagnosed with Lupus. Why would God permit such imprisonment?  To what purpose?  Jeremiah 30:24 promises, “The Lord will not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the intents of His mind.”

This season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it doesn’t bewilder God.  He will use it for His purpose. Please be reminded…You will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – Do What Pleases God

Max Lucado

Dad, would you intentionally break the arm of your child? Of course not. Such an action violates every fiber of your moral being. Yet if you engage in sexual activity outside your marriage, you’ll bring more pain into the life of your child than a broken bone.

Mom, would you force your children to sleep outside on a cold night?  By no means. Yet if you involve yourself in an affair, you’ll bring more darkness and chill into the lives of your children than a hundred winters.

Actions have consequences. Make this your rule of thumb:  Do what pleases God!  Your classmates showed you a way to cheat, the internet provides pornography to watch—ask yourself the question, “How can I please God?” Psalm 6:5 says, “Do what is right as a sacrifice to the Lord and trust the Lord.”  You will never go wrong doing what is right!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – Don’t Fix Stupid with Stupid

Max Lucado

You may think to yourself, “No one will know.  I won’t get caught.  I’m only human. . .”  But don’t make matters worse by doing something you’ll regret. Years ago, a friend gave me this counsel. “Make a list of all the lives you would impact through your sexual immorality.”  I did.  Every so often I re-read it. Denalyn.  My three daughters.  My son-in-law. My yet-to-be-born grandchildren.  Every person who’s ever read one of my books or heard my sermons.  My publishing team.  Our church staff. The list reminds me that one act of carnality is a poor exchange for a lifetime of lost legacy.

You don’t fix a struggling marriage with an affair, a drug problem with more drugs.  You don’t fix stupid with stupid. Do what pleases God. Turbulent times will tempt you to forget Him. Shortcuts will lure you.  Don’t be foolish or naïve. Do what pleases God.  Nothing more, nothing less!

From  You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – God’s Presence

Max Lucado

Depression can buckle the knees of the best of us, and a pastor’s wife is no exception. Years ago my wife, Denalyn, battled depression. Every day was gray.  Her life was loud and busy—two kids in elementary school, a third in kindergarten, and a husband who didn’t know how to get off the airplane and stay home.

The days took their toll. But Denalyn was never one to play games. On a given Sunday when the depression was suffocating, she armed herself with honesty and went to church. If people ask me how I’m doing, I’m going to tell them. She answered each, “How are you” with a candid, “Not well. I’m depressed. Will you pray for me?”  Casual chats became long conversations. Brief hellos became heartfelt moments of ministry. She found God’s presence amidst God’s people! He’s waiting on you, my friend. And He will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

 

Max Lucado – Lean on God’s People

Max Lucado

Whatever it is that’s troubling you, you’ll get through this! Cancel your escape to the Himalayas. Forget the deserted island.  This is no time to be a hermit. Pray!  Lean on God’s people.  Be a barnacle on the boat of God’s church.

Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Don’t quit.  And don’t hide! Would the sick avoid the hospital?  The hungry avoid the food pantry?  Would the discouraged abandon God’s Hope Distribution Center?  Only at great risk. God is waiting on you, my friend. He is with you. Your family may have left. Your supporters may be gone. Your counselor may be silent. But God has not budged. His promise in Genesis 28:15 still stands,“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go!”

You will get through this!

From  You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – God Surrounds Us

Max Lucado

God surrounds us like the Pacific surrounds an ocean floor pebble. He is everywhere:  above, below, on all sides. We choose our response—rock or sponge? Resist or receive? Everything within you says, harden your heart. Run from God, resist God, blame God.

But be careful.  Hard hearts never heal.  Spongy ones do! Open every pore of your soul to God’s presence.  Here’s how. Lay claim to the nearness of God. He says in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Grip this promise like the parachute it is. Repeat it over and over until it trumps the voices of fear. The Lord God is with you, and He is mighty to save. Cling to His character.  Quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God and press them into your heart. He is sovereign. You will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – He is Not Far From Us

Max Lucado

You will never go where God is not! Envision the next few hours—where will you be? In a school?  God indwells the classroom. On the highway?  His presence lingers among the traffic.  In the hospital operating room, the executive board-room, the in-laws’ living room?  God will be there.

Acts 17:27 says, “He is not far from each of us.”  Each of us.  God doesn’t play favorites. From the masses on city streets to isolated villagers in valleys and jungles, all people can enjoy God’s presence.

But many don’t! They plod through life as if there is no God to love them. As if the only strength is their own. As if the only solution will come from within, not above.  They live God-less lives.  The psalmist determined, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You, God.” (Psalm 56:3).  Put your hope in God. You will get through this!

 

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – Vengeance is God’s

Max Lucado

The Bible says vengeance is God’s.  He will repay.  (Romans 12:19)  What a great reminder!  Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice, it just entrusts it to God. We tend to give too much or too little. But the God of justice has the precise prescription.

God can discipline your abusive boss. He can soften your angry parent.  He can bring your ex to his knees or her senses. Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice, it just entrusts it to God. Unlike us, God never gives up on a person.  Never. Long after we’ve moved on, God is still there, probing the conscience, stirring conviction, always orchestrating redemption. Fix your enemies?  That’s God’s job.

When it comes to forgiveness, all of us are beginners. No one owns a secret formula. As long as you’re trying to forgive, you are forgiving. Stay the course and you’ll find a way to be strong even when you’ve been hurt. You will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – His Unchanging Character

Max Lucado

We pass much of life at mid-altitude. Most of life is Monday-ish obligations of carpools, expense reports and recipes. Occasionally we summit a peak:  our wedding, a promotion, the birth of a child. But when the housing market crashes, or test reports come back negative, before we know it, we discover what the bottom looks like!

In Psalm 139:7 David asks, “Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?”  You’ll never go where God is not.  Acts 17:27 reminds us, “He is not far from each of us.” The Psalmist determined, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

I’m reminded of the words of an old but familiar hymn, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is still my hope and stay!” Cling to His unchanging character. God is faithful. He is not caught off guard. He uses everything for His glory and your ultimate good. You will get through this.

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – All You Need

Max Lucado

Ginger was six years old when she and her Sunday school class made get well cards for church members.  Hers was a bright purple card that said, “I love you, but most of all God loves you!”  She and her mom made the delivery.  My dad was bedfast, the end was near.  He could extend his hand, but it was bent to a claw from disease. Ginger asked him a question as only a six year old can, “Are you going to die?”  He answered, “Yes, but when I don’t know.” She asked if he was afraid to go away.  “Away is heaven,” he told her.  “I’ll be with my Father.  I’m ready to see Him eye to eye.”

A man near death, winking at the thought of it. Stripped of everything? It only appeared that way. In the end, Dad still had what no one could take…faith.  And in the end, that’s all he needed!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – God Won’t Break a Promise

Max Lucado

All of a sudden you’re cleaning out your desk. Voices of doubt and fear raise their volume. “How will I pay the bills?  Who’s going to hire me?”

Do you think you’ve lost it all?  Determine not to make this mistake. You have not lost it all.  Romans 11:29 promises God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded. What do you have that you cannot lose?

You can say to yourself, “I am still God’s child.  My life’s more than this life. These days are a vapor, a passing breeze. This will eventually pass.  God will make something good out of this. I will work hard, stay faithful, and trust Him no matter what.”

Choose to heed the call of God on your life. You are God’s child. Your life is more than this life, more than this broken heart, more than this difficult time. God won’t break a promise.  You will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – His Child Forever

Max Lucado

I’m entering my fourth decade as a pastor and I’ve learned the question to ask. If we were having this talk over coffee and you were telling me about your tough times, I’d lean across the table and say, “What do you still have that you cannot lose?” The difficulties have taken much away.  I get that. But there’s one gift your troubles cannot touch.  Your destiny. Can we talk about it?

You are God’s child.  He saw you, picked you, and placed you. Jesus said,  “You did not choose Me.  I chose you.” (John 15:16).

I remember a young groom once leaned over, just minutes before the ceremony and said to me, “You weren’t my first choice.”  “I wasn’t, I responded?”  “No, the preacher I wanted couldn’t make it.”  “Oh, I said.”  He responded, “But thanks for filling in.”

You’ll never hear such words from God. He chose you. Replacement or fill-in?  Hardly.  You’re His first choice. His open, willful, voluntary choice.  Hear him say, “This child is mine!”  His child forever.  That’s who you are!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – God Takes His Time

Max Lucado

Sometimes God takes His time. One-hundred and twenty years to prepare Noah for the flood. Eighty years to prepare Moses for his work. God called young David to be king, but returned him to the sheep pasture. He called Paul to be an apostle and then isolated him in Arabia for fourteen years.

How long will God take with you?  His history is redeemed, not in minutes, but in lifetimes. We fear the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. Will this sky ever brighten?  This load ever lighten?

Life in the pit stinks. Yet for all its rottenness, doesn’t it do this much? Doesn’t it force us to look upward? The Bible promises at the right time, in God’s hands, intended evil becomes eventual good. You will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – Deliverance

Max Lucado

You’ll get through this! You fear you won’t.  We all do. We feel stuck, trapped, locked in.  Will we ever exit this pit?  Yes!  Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere. Out of the lion’s den for Daniel, the whale’s belly for Jonah, and the prison for Paul.

Through the Red Sea onto dry ground. Through the wilderness, through the valley of the shadow of death. Through!  It’s a favorite word of God’s. Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.”

It won’t be painless. Have you wept your final tear, received your last round of chemotherapy?  Not necessarily. Does God guarantee the absence of struggle? Not in this life. We see Satan’s tricks and ploys, but God sees Satan tripped and foiled. You’ll get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – A Mess for Good

Max Lucado

Twenty years of marriage, three kids, and now he’s gone. Traded her in for a younger model.  She told me her story, and we prayed. Then I said,  “It won’t be painless or quick. But God will use this mess for good. With God’s help you’ll get through this.”

Remember Joseph?  Genesis 37:4 says his brothers “hated him.”  Far from home, they cast him into a pit, leaving him for dead. A murderous cover-up from the get go. Pits have no easy exit. Joseph’s story got worse before it got better. Yet in his explanation we find his inspiration: “You meant evil against me,” he said, “but God meant it for good. . .”  The very acts intended to destroy God’s servant, turned out to strengthen him.  The same will be said about you.  You will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – God Keeps His Promises

Max Lucado

God keeps His promises. Shouldn’t God’s promise-keeping inspire yours?

People can exhaust you. And there are times when all we can do is not enough. When a spouse chooses to leave, we can’t force him or her to stay. You’re tired.  You’re angry.  You’re disappointed. This isn’t the marriage you expected or the life you wanted. But looming in your past is a promise you made.

Whatever that is, may I urge you to do all you can to keep it?  To give it one more try? Why should you? So you can understand the depth of God’s love. When you love the unloving, you get a glimpse of what God does everyday for you and me.

When you keep the porch light on for the prodigal child, you do what God does every single moment. Pay attention, take notes on your struggles. God  invites you to understand His love by loving others the way he does.

from Facing Your Giants

Max Lucado – Turn a Deaf Ear

Max Lucado

Two kinds of voices vie for our attention.  One says, “God will help you.”  The other says, “God has left you!”

And here’s the great news:  you select the voices you hear.  Why give ear to pea-brains and scoffers when you can, with the same ear, listen to the voice of God?  I had a friend who battled alcohol.  He tried a fresh tactic.  He gave me and a few others permission to slug him in the nose if we ever saw him drinking. If the wall is too tall, try the tunnel!  Try something different… God will help you!

Ephesians 1:19-20 says, “God’s power is very great for those who believe.  That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead and put Him at His right side in the heavenly world.”

Turn to God and he will give you what you need.  Turn a deaf ear to the old voices. Open a wide eye to the new choices!

from Facing Your Giants

Max Lucado – A Stronghold

Max Lucado

What is that one weakness you have, that bad habit, or rotten attitude? Where does Satan have a stronghold within you?

It’s a fitting word—stronghold: a fortress, thick walls, tall gates. It’s as if the devil staked a claim on one weakness and constructed a rampart around it—placing himself squarely between God’s help and your. . .explosive temper;  fragile self-image; freezer-size appetite; or distrust for authority.

Stronghold. Seasons come and go, and this Loch Ness monster still lurks in the water-bottom of your soul.  He won’t go away!  He lives up to both sides of his compound name:  strong enough to grip like a vise and stubborn enough to hold on.

Remember Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “We use mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the devil’s strongholds.”  You and I fight with toothpicks but God comes with battering rams and cannons!  So give your strongholds to God and He will break them down!

from Facing Your Giants

Max Lucado – You Have a Bible?

Max Lucado

Do you have a Bible?  Read it!

Has any other book ever been described like it?  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

The words of the Bible have life. Life-giving words! Nouns with pulse rates. The Bible is to God what a surgical glove is to the surgeon. He reaches through them to touch deep within you. Haven’t you felt His touch? In a late, lonely hour you read, “I will never leave you.  I will never forsake you.” The sentences comfort like a hand on your shoulder.

Don’t make a decision without sitting before God with open Bible, open heart, open ears. Let the words of Christ live in your heart and make you wise.

You have a Bible?  Read it.