You’ll Get Through This
Max Lucado Brings Message of HopeBest–selling Christian author Max Lucado has written more than 50 books and reached more than 100 million people with his writings, but he considers his latest effort one of the most important in his long career.
The book, entitled You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times, was released on Sept. 3.
“It fits in with my life message,” Max says. “I want to give people encouragement. I really do. I really don’t consider myself a great academician or doctrinal teacher, but more of a pastor; I like to encourage people, and so this is a book intended to encourage, so in that sense it’s really important for me.”
The Salvation Army teamed with Lucado’s publisher, Thomas Nelson, to print a special edition of the book, which features testimonies from five people helped by The Salvation Army and a letter from Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, the USA East’s territorial commander.
Copies of the official Salvation Army edition were given out free on Sept. 11, when Max spoke at the Army’s Centennial Memorial Temple in New York City to mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11.
Based on the Old Testament story of Joseph, the book is sprinkled with anecdotes from Max’s 30 years as a pastor, including the last 20 at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.
“I’ve been a pastor over half my life,” Max says. “Just like other pastors, or anybody involved in ministry, you’re always trying to help people come off the ledge of despair. You’re always trying to help people in difficult situations not give up and not cave in. When the situation seems impossible, the river seems impassible, you’re trying to help them through.
“Over the years, I’ve just had this desire to write a book whose sole purpose would be to help people in the middle of crisis … to know God will get them through.”
Max says he chose to focus on Joseph because his story has all the elements of tragedy and deals with such issues as family abandonment, culture, immigration, linguistics, temptation, and false accusations. Joseph ended up in a pit, then was sold into slavery by his brothers and falsely imprisoned in Egypt.
“It’s hard to think of something that could happen that didn’t happen to Joseph,” Max says.
When asked what Bible verses he envisioned building the book around, Max said Genesis 50:20 is the flagship passage: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Max says he worked hard to find a balance between not being glib about people’s pain while still trumpeting the promises of the Bible found in such verses as Romans 8:28. In the end, Joseph rose to be Egypt’s “prime minister” and saved his family and others from starvation.
Does that mean that every difficult circumstance has a positive end when we do finally “get through it”?
“Ultimately, yes, in Christ,” Max says. “I’m saying you’ll get through this, maybe not in this life, but in the life to come. That’s the wonderful promise of the Christian faith. But most of the time, aren’t we amazed how many times in this life God gets us through tough things?
“Everybody can look back and say, ‘You know, I didn’t think I was going to get through that when I was a teenager or a single mom or a young dad or unemployed,’ but we have this testimony we can give that, you know what? I did get through that and actually I’m better because of it.”
Max says “despair is the enemy” and urges people going through tough times to lay claim to the nearness of God, cling to His character, pray out their pain, and lean on God’s people.
“Despair is defined as the belief that there is no solution to my problem and there’s no end to my problem,” Max says. “You in The Salvation Army face that every time you step into a crisis. You do your best to help people and say, ‘We’re going to help you get through this.’ That’s what I’m trying to do on a spiritual level. I want people to know that God will walk them through it. I think it’s when we think we won’t get through it, that’s when despair sets in.”
In the Salvation Army audience on the night of 9/11 were surviving family members from the terrorist attacks as well as victims of Superstorm Sandy. Many came forward at Lucado’s urging and lined the front of the huge auditorium to pray with Salvation Army officers and others.
“Sometimes we are in such difficult circumstances, we don’t need anybody giving us a message; we just want somebody to sit with us,” Max says, “But when they’re ready for a message, I’m hoping this book will provide it.”