Category: thoughts by Max Lucado

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Were your growing up years hard years?  Family pain is the deepest pain because it was inflicted so early; it involves people who should have been trustworthy.  You were too young to process the mistreatment.  You didn’t know how to defend yourself.  Besides, the perpetrators of your pain were so large.  Your dad, mom, uncle, big brother—they towered over you, usually in size, always in rank.  When they judged you falsely, you believed them.  As a result, you’ve been operating on faulty data.  “You’re stupid, slow, dumb like your daddy, fat like your momma,” and decades later these voices of defeat still echo in our subconscious.

But they don’t have to.  Romans 12:2 says, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  You are God’s child, His creation.  You’ll get through this — you’re a part of His family.

By Max Lucado
From: You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Turbulent Times
Used by permission

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What would it take to restore your hope?

What would you need to re-energize your journey?

Though the answers are abundant, three come quickly to mind.

The first would be a person. Not just any person. You don’t need someone equally confused. You need someone who knows the way out.

And from him you need some vision. You need someone to lift your spirits. You need someone to look you in the face and say, ’this isn’t the end. Don’t give up. There is a better place than this. And I’ll lead you there.’

And, perhaps most important, you need direction. If you have only a person but no renewed vision, all you have is company. If he has a vision but no direction, you have a dreamer for company. But if you have a person with direction “who can take you from this place to the right place” ah, then you have one who can restore your hope.

Or, to use Davids words, “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23) Our Shepherd majors in restoring hope to the soul. Whether you are a lamb lost on a craggy ledge or a city slicker alone in a deep jungle, everything changes when your rescuer appears.
Your loneliness diminishes, because you have fellowship.

Your despair decreases, because you have vision.

Your confusion begins to lift, because you have direction.

Please note: You haven’t left the jungle. The trees still eclipse the sky, and the thorns still cut the skin. Animals lurk and rodents scurry. The jungle is still a jungle. It hasn’t changed, but you have. You have changed because you have hope. And you have hope because you have met someone who can lead you out.

Your Shepherd knows that you were not made for this place. He knows you are not equipped for this place. So he has come to guide you out.

‘They Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.” (Psalm 23)

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
Journey Begin: God’s Road map for New Beginnings

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Everything is being cancelled. The NBA games. The NHL games. March Madness. Broadway plays. Flights. Cruises. Cancellations, everywhere!

But can I tell you the one thing that has not and WILL not be cancelled? God will never cancel his promise to take care of us. Do not interpret the presence of problems as the absence of God. God has promised, “Never will I never leave you, never will I forsake you.” He is with us. He is for us. He offers us peace in the face of uncertainty, and hope in exchange for heaviness.

The question of this crisis is simply this, what is God saying to us? Among the answers must be this promise from Matthew 11:28,

Come to me all of you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.

Turn to Him today.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

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Jeremiah was depressed, as gloomy as a giraffe with a neck ache. Jerusalem was under siege, his nation under duress. His world collapsed like a sand castle in a typhoon. He faulted God for his horrible emotional distress. He also blamed God for his physical ailments. “[God] has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones”  (Lamentations 3:4 RSV).

His body ached. His heart was sick. His faith was puny … He realized how fast he was sinking, so he shifted his gaze. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him‘” (vv. 21–24 RSV).

But this I call to mind ...” Depressed, Jeremiah altered his thoughts, shifted his attention. He turned his eyes away from his stormy world and looked into the wonder of God. He quickly recited a quintet of promises. (I can envision him tapping these out on the five fingers of his hand.)

1. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.

2. His mercies never come to an end.

3. They are new every morning.

4. Great is thy faithfulness.

5. The Lord is my portion.

The storm didn’t cease, but his discouragement did.

By Max Lucado
From: An Encouraging Word

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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, 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

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From: You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Turbulent Times

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Make no mistake… the devil is a real devil!  Every conflict is a contest with Satan and his forces.  For that reason, the Bible says, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

What are these weapons?  Prayer, worship, and Scripture.  When we pray, we engage the power of God against the devil.  When we worship, we do what Satan did not do.  We place God on the throne.  When we pick up the sword of Scripture, we do what Jesus did in the wilderness.  He responded to Satan by proclaiming truth.  And since Satan has a severe allergy to truth, he left Jesus alone.  Satan will not linger long where God is praised and prayers are offered.  And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

Read more Unshakable Hope

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We’ve all messed up.  Said the wrong words, loved the wrong person, reacted the wrong way…walked when we should have waited, indulged when we should have resisted.

You’ll mess up more if you let yesterday’s mistakes sabotage today’s attitude!

The Bible says, God’s mercies are new every morning.  Receive them.  Learn a lesson from them.

Thunderbolts of regret can ignite and consume you.  What makes the difference? Counteract them with downpours of God’s grace, daily washings of forgiveness.

Once a year won’t do.  Once a month is insufficient.  Weekly showers leave you dry.  You need a solid soaking every day!

Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The Lord’s love never ends; His mercies never stop.  They are new every morning.”

What a gift He has given to you.  What more do you need?

By Max Lucado
Used by permission
From: Great Day Every Day

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You know as well as I do, it’s one thing to start something. It’s something else entirely to complete it.  Relax!  “Don’t start what you can’t finish” is not my point!

To be honest, I don’t believe you should finish everything you start.  Every student with homework just perked up. There are certain quests better left undone, some projects wisely abandoned. Though I wouldn’t list homework as one of them!  We can become so obsessed with completion that we become blind to effectiveness.  No, my desire is not to convince you to finish everything.  My desire is to encourage you to finish the right thing.

Certain races are optional.  Other races are essential—like the race of faith.  Consider this admonition from the author of Hebrews in chapter 12:1,

“Let us run the race that is before us and never give up!”

Finish strong, my friend.

By Max Lucado
From: Just Like Jesus
Used by permission

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The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that “in everything God works for the good of those who love Him.” Do this simple exercise. Remove the word ‘everything’ and replace it with the symbol of your tragedy. How would Romans 8:28 read in your life?

In hospital stays God works for the good.
In divorce papers God works for the good.

As hard as it may be to believe, you could be only a Saturday away from a resurrection. Hours from that precious prayer of a changed heart. “God, you did this for me?

Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, Paul said. “The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.” (Romans 15:4).

These are not somewhere-over-the-rainbow illusions. They are historic moments in which a real God met real pain so we could answer the question, “where is God when I hurt?”

By Max Lucado
From: Lucado Inspirational Reader

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On my good days I begin my morning with a cup of coffee and a conversation with God.  I look ahead into the day and make my requests.  I am meeting with so-and-so at 10:00AM.  Would you give me wisdom?  This afternoon I need to finish my sermon.  Would you please go ahead of me? 

Then if a sense of stress surfaces during the day, I remind myself, Oh, I gave this challenge to God earlier today.  He has already taken responsibility for the situation.  I can be grateful, not fretful.

The Bible says,

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

Casting is an intentional act to relocate an object. As you sense anxiety welling up inside you, cast it in the direction of Christ.  He is moved by the sincere request.  After all, is he not our Father?

By Max Lucado 

From:  Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World
Used by permission

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God repeatedly pledges his presence to his people.  To Abram, God said,

Do not be afraid. . .I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Genesis 15:1).

God told Joshua,

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

In the ultimate declaration of communion, God called himself Immanuel, which means, God with us.  He became flesh.  He became sin.  He defeated the grave.  He is still with us.  In the form of his Spirit, he comforts, teaches, and convicts.

Don’t assume God is watching from a distance.  Isolation creates a downward cycle of fret.  Choose instead to be the person who clutches the presence of God with both hands.  We can calmly take our concerns to God because he is as near as our next breath.  And because the Lord is near, we can be anxious for nothing.

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From:  Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World

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Are you open to the idea of a Father, a heavenly Father, who knows you?  A soon-to-be home that awaits you?  Would you consider this life- changing idea?  The almighty and all-knowing God has set his affection on you.  Every detail about you he knows.  Your interests, your hang- ups, your fears, and your failures…He knows you!

About his children God says, “The Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought”   (1 Chronicles 28:9).  King David wrote, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me…you knew my path” (Psalm 142:3).

Do you know this God who knows you?  He knows your name.  And he can’t wait to get you home.  The ever-recurring, soul-lifting message of heaven is this—  “The Lord delights in you” (Isaiah 62:4).

By Max Lucado
used by permission
From: Jesus, the God Who Knows Your Name

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God loves the sound of your voice—always!  God never places you on hold or tells you to call again later.  He doesn’t hide when you call.  He hears your prayers.  For that reason “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

With this verse the apostle calls us to take action against anxiety.  We tell God exactly what we want.  We pray the particulars of our problems.  What Jesus said to the blind man, he says to us: “What do you want me to do for you” (Luke 18:41)?  One would think the answer would be obvious.  When a sightless man requests Jesus’ help, isn’t it apparent what he needs?  Yet Jesus wanted to hear the man articulate his specific requests.  He wants the same from us.  “Let your requests be made known to God!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

From:  Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World

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“He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers.” Psalm 91:4

My college friends and I barely escaped a West Texas storm before it pummelled the park where we were spending a Saturday afternoon. As we were leaving, my buddy brought the car to a sudden stop and gestured to a tender sight on the ground. A mother bird sat exposed to the rain, her wing extended over her baby who had fallen out of the nest. The fierce storm prohibited her from returning to the tree, so she covered her child until the wind passed.

From how many winds is God protecting you? His wing, at this moment, shields you. A slanderous critic heading toward your desk is interrupted by a phone call. A burglar en route to your house has a flat tire. A drunk driver runs out of gas before your car passes his. God, your guardian, protects you from

‘every trap’ (Psalm 91:3);
‘the fatal plague’ (Psalm 91:3);
‘the plague that stalks in darkness’ (Psalm 91:6);
‘the terrors of the night – the dangers of the day’ (Psalm 91:5).

One translation boldly promises: “Nothing bad will happen to you.”
(Psalm 91:10 NCV).

Then why does it?” someone erupts. “Explain my job transfer. Or the bum who called himself my dad. Or the death of our child.”  If God is our guardian, why do bad things happen to us?

Have they? Have bad things really happened to you? You and God may have different definitions for the word bad.

God views your life the way you view a movie after you’ve read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You’ve read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He’s not only read your story – he wrote it. His perspective is different, and his purpose is clear.

God uses struggles to toughen our spiritual skin.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (James 1:2-4)

Trust him. “But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3). Join with Isaiah, who resolved, “I will trust in him and not be afraid.” (Isaiah 12:2).

God is directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life (Psalm 37:23-24). In fact, that’s his car pulling over to the side of the road. That’s God opening the door. And that’s you climbing into the passenger seat.

There now, don’t you feel safer knowing he is in control?

By Max Lucado
From: Come Thirsty
Used by permission


Are you at a place in your life where you want to know Jesus and have him in your life?  You can start a life surrendered to Christ today. This is a sample, simple prayer, but the words are powerful and full of meaning.  If  you truly believe them Christ will enter your life and start you on a wonderful journey. (not always easy, but never alone)

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

It starts now!


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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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!

By Max Lucado
Used by permission

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thoughts by Max Lucado Thoughts by Men