Max Lucado titles his latest book God Never Gives Up on You: What Jacob’s Story Teaches Us About Grace, Mercy, and God’s Relentless Love (Thomas Nelson, 2023). Currently, Max serves as Teaching Pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. Pastor Lucado sees this book as a refresher course on God’s stubborn refusal to give up on us. Therefore, Max finds it a relief to read Jacob’s story. Because we misbehave so often. Most significantly, God used Jacob in spite of Jacob – period. For, the author underscores, God’s grace is more than just as good as you are. It’s as good as He is. Sin, at its root, equates to an unwillingness to wait, trust, and follow God’s plan. And even though we turn away from God, yet He turns toward us.
Above all, God meets you in your desolate moments. He watches over you from the highest while you’re at your lowest. In those moments, Max exhorts, you’ll sense and see God as never before. Furthermore, God’s grace persists, shows up, and speaks up in our despair and guilt. However, Pastor Lucado cautions, we dare not hinge our belief on God’s response to our prayers or negotiate with God. Because in doing so we change a transcendent God to whom we’re accountable for a dependent God who must account to us. In fact, such a flea market view of God stunts our spiritual development. Hence, in prayer we trust God to do what’s best. Rather than ask God to do what we want.
In addition, God wants to use broken vessels. His grace never quits — God never gives up on you. Whereas we see a mess, God sees an opportunity to display His strength. So, wherever we go, we carry God’s blessings with us. In turn, His blessings overflow into the lives of others. Thus, we’re part of God’s delivery system of hope, couriers of His covenant. Consequently, we need to see people who irritate us as God’s training tool. Certainly, Max counsels, don’t fight your Laban on Laban’s terms. Instead, respond to your Laban with faith in God. As with your Laban, God never gives up on you.
In conclusion, Pastor Lucado encourages, put your past in the past and set your eyes on the future. In the process, you’ll find that the past no longer holds power over your life. Trust God with your future and move on. Embrace your past and, like Jacob, weep for joy. Limp in God’s power. Also, even though we forget God over and over again, He never forgets us. Jacob’s story speaks to anyone who flounders, fails, and flops. God accomplishes great things through the greatly broken. Because you’re the sum of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Not the sum of your sins.
Max closes with these words of hope:
“We simply need to trust the God of Jacob, believe in a God who sticks with the unworthy and underachievers until we are safely home. He is the God of second chances and new beginnings. The God of grace. And he never gives up on you.”