You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle . . . (Thomas Nelson, 2020)
Max Lucado’s latest book is titled You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle of God’s Presence and Power. Currently Max serves as Teaching Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, TX. When we believe, Pastor Lucado asserts, life happens. As a result, we find strength beyond our strength, accomplish tasks beyond our capacity, and see solutions beyond our wisdom. Therefore, we cannot equate belief to a respectful salute to a divine being. Instead, faith happens when we place our confidence in God. In focusing on specific miracles of Jesus in his Gospel, the apostle John wants us to know that God cares. Furthermore, we are never alone, never without hope or help. No matter how insignificant our diminishing supplies, they matter to heaven.
Above all, Max exhorts, in everything make known your requests – big or small. Because when you turn your deficit into a prayer, Jesus tailors a response to your precise need. In other words, your problem = Jesus’ pathway. Therefore, it falls to each of us to believe that Jesus is king of each and every situation. Yet, Pastor Lucado observes, the path between offered prayer and answered prayer grows dark with doubts. In addition, despair tags along as an uninvited companion. Consequently, we must avoid contingent faith. Or what Max refers to as the faith of sidewalk chalk: beautiful when the sun shines, washes away when the rain falls. Most significantly, the author stresses, God answers your prayer in a manner greater than you requested. So keep walking and believing, regardless of when He answers your prayer. Let Jesus’ word lead you home.
Hence, Pastor Lucado asks, would you like to leave your Bethesda in the rearview mirror? Ready for a new day, a new way? Because Jesus walks with you in the midst of your Bethesda. He has a new version of you ready to happen. So believe in the Jesus who believes in you. However, Max cautions, it’s not our place to say what God will do. Rather, it’s our job to believe He will do something. You must count on Christ. Simply give him what you have and let Him do the work. Also, it’s not our job to tell Jesus our gift is too small. For God can take small things and do big things.
Finally, in the midst of your storm, pause and let Jesus tell you His name. Because you want, need, and must know that the great I AM stands near. Rather than let your storm turn you inward, let your storm turn you upward. Appeal to the love of Jesus and state your problem. Next, wrap your concern in a sentence and leave it with Jesus. Mustering a mustard seed confession is enough for Jesus. The miracle-working God John presents in his gospel cares and fights for you. Max ends with this blessing:
“May you dwell in the grace of the cross, the hope of the empty tomb, and the assurance of restoration power. But most of all may you believe — believe that God is your ever-present help. And in his presence may you find rest.”