The editor-in-chief caught up with author Max Lucado to discuss his most recent book, Unshakable Hope. In lieu of a traditional question-and-answer format, quotes were selected from the book for Max to share his additional comments.
God did not emphasize the Israelites’ strength, He emphasized His. He did not underscore their ability, He highlighted His. For the next chapter of their history when God was preparing the Israelites, He didn’t tell them anything except how good He was, how strong He was and how faithful He was. The big takeaway is that what matters most to God is His ability to take care of us, as opposed to our ability to take care of ourselves.
Your imagination is too timid to understand God’s dream for you.
God has plans for us that are beyond our highest expectations, our highest dreams. We tend to assume that if we’re in a tough season, we’ll always be in a tough season. That’s wrong. Every tough season comes to an end. Every difﬁcult challenge passes. On top of that Heaven awaits us with the new version of earthly life in our new bodies, in our new minds, and all that experience of being in eternity that’s simply beyond the possibility of being imagined.
Your prayers impact the actions of God.
It’s a remarkable thing to stand on these promises, you know, like the one in the Book of James. “That the prayers of the righteous person availeth much” (James 5:16, KJV). Or as other translations put it: “The prayers of a believer are mighty and effective.” Just think that our prayers impact the actions of God! We parents get this. If my daughter were to call me right now and say, “Hey Dad, I’ve got to have some help,” I would probably stop everything I’m doing to help her. And so we can call upon our heavenly Father and He will accelerate His ways of helping us. Or He will come at a different approach of helping us then if we don’t pray. Again, it’s not up to us to understand why our prayers should matter. What is up to us is to stand on His promise and pray and know that our prayers have an impact upon our Heavenly Father.
Pride is the hidden reef that shipwrecks the soul.
Pride is dangerous, because the prideful heart will not do what is necessary to come to God. The prideful heart will not bend the neck to pray or bow before God, will not bend the knees to worship, will not lift up problems before the Heavenly Father, because the prideful heart is self-centered. What it means to be a person of faith and ﬁnd the joy that comes from that is to be God centered. At the core of many of our issues is that stubborn resolve to do it “my way.”
“THE PRAYERS OF A BELIEVER ARE MIGHTY AND EFFECTIVE.
JUST THINK THAT OUR PRAYERS IMPACT THE ACTIONS OF GOD!”
Storms come to the obedient.
We would think they wouldn’t. There’s a part of us that thinks that, “If I’m a follower of Christ then I shouldn’t have to face any problems.” That is quickly dismissed by a simple reading of the New Testament. Jesus faced storms. He walked out into the middle of the storm to rescue the disciples. He did not have a protective bubble built around Him. He did not live up on a mountain in a protected chalet but walked right here in the middle of our lives feeling what we feel. Let’s not be surprised when storms come. If we do then that will lead to more storms. Let’s say, “Okay. There’s a promise in Scripture, that says, ‘Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33).
God does not stand on a mountain and tell us to climb it and ﬁnd Him. He comes down into the dark valley and ﬁnds us.
That’s such a reassuring thought. He is the shepherd in search of the one lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7). He is the housewife in search of the one coin that was lost (Luke 15:8-9). She had nine others, but that wasn’t enough for her to be satisﬁed. She had to ﬁnd the other one. The shepherd had 99 other sheep, but he wasn’t satisﬁed. He wanted to have that lost sheep back. That’s the picture that Jesus gives us of our Heavenly Father’s heart. He’s not going to stay up on a mountain and wait for us to ﬁnd Him. He enters our world and ﬁnds us. He ﬁnds us through messages, acts of nature, miraculous interventions. He gets our attention or at least tries to get our attention.
Night might delay the dawn, but it cannot defeat it.
The promise in Psalms is “If the weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (30:5). We sometimes pass through seasons that are so difﬁcult and so protracted that we think we’ll never see the sunrise again. But we always do and always can. There’s a promise of joy that will come. The darkness will not pass as quickly as we want, sometimes not as dramatically as we desire, but it will always pass.
Your soul needs an anchor, a hooking point that is sturdier than the storm.
That’s because our soul is so precious. That’s the part of us that carries the image of God. So let’s take that soul. Let’s hook it to the throne room of Christ. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, the Bible says (Hebrews 6:19). The image is tying that rope around our soul and taking the anchor into the very Holy of Holies, wrapping it around the leg of the throne room and then to the throne upon which Jesus sits. Since the devil cannot go in there, we can be assured that our hope will be sturdy, steady and we’ll weather the storm anchored to the throne of Christ.
Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee is the editor-in-chief and national literary secretary