For The Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope [NOOK Book]

Overview

When we feel that life is out of control, He is in control.

When tragedy strikes, people desperately search for answers. Believers and unbelievers alike find themselves turning to God. Best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado points to the only real answer to tragedy and crisis: Prayer. In For the Tough Times, Lucado helps us understand how to pray despite our doubt and fear.

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For The Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope

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Overview

When we feel that life is out of control, He is in control.

When tragedy strikes, people desperately search for answers. Believers and unbelievers alike find themselves turning to God. Best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado points to the only real answer to tragedy and crisis: Prayer. In For the Tough Times, Lucado helps us understand how to pray despite our doubt and fear.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418578626
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 218,849
  • File size: 279 KB

Meet the Author

Max Lucado

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

 

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Read an Excerpt

FOR THE TOUGH TIMES

Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope
By Max Lucado

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2006 Max Lucado
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-2144-5


Chapter One

WHERE IS GOD?

When tragedy strikes, whether personal, national, or global, people wonder how God could allow such things to happen. What can he be thinking? Is God really in control? Can we trust him to run the universe if he would allow this?

It is important to recognize that God dwells in a different realm. He occupies another dimension. "My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8-9).

Make special note of the word like. God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are they even like ours. We aren't even in the same neighborhood. We're thinking, Preserve the body; he's thinking, Save the soul. We dream of a pay raise. He dreams of raising the dead. We avoid pain and seek peace. God uses pain to bring peace. "I'm going to live before I die," we resolve. "Die so you can live," he instructs. We love what rusts. He loves what endures. We rejoice at our successes. He rejoices at our confessions. We show our children the Nike star with the million-dollar smile and say, "Be like Mike." God points tothe crucified carpenter with bloody lips and a torn side and says, "Be like Christ."

Our thoughts are not like God's thoughts. Our ways are not like his ways. He has a different agenda. He dwells in a different dimension. He lives on another plane.

The heavens tell the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again. They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard. But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth. (Ps. 19:1-4)

Nature is God's workshop. The sky is his résumé. The universe is his calling card. You want to know who God is? See what he has done. You want to know his power? Take a look at his creation. Curious about his strength? Pay a visit to his home address: 1 Billion Starry Sky Avenue. Want to know his size? Step out into the night and stare at starlight emitted one million years ago, and then read 2 Chronicles 2:6: "No one can really build a house for our God. Not even the highest of heavens can hold him."

He is untainted by the atmosphere of sin, unbridled by the time line of history, unhindered by the weariness of the body.

What controls you doesn't control him. What troubles you doesn't trouble him. What fatigues you doesn't fatigue him. Is an eagle disturbed by traffic? No, he rises above it. Is the whale perturbed by a hurricane? Of course not; he plunges beneath it. Is the lion flustered by the mouse standing directly in his way? No, he steps over it.

How much more is God able to soar above, plunge beneath, and step over the troubles of the earth! "What is impossible with man is possible with God" (see Matt. 19:26). Our questions betray our lack of understanding:

How can God be everywhere at one time? (Who says God is bound by a body?)

How can God hear all the prayers that come to him? (Perhaps his ears are different from yours.)

How can God be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? (Could it be that heaven has a different set of physics than earth?)

If people down here won't forgive me, how much more am I guilty before a holy God? (Oh, just the opposite. God is always able to give grace when we humans can't-he invented it.)

How vital that we pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in heaven. Pray with any lesser conviction, and our prayers are timid, shallow, and hollow. Look up and see what God has done, and watch how your prayers are energized.

This knowledge gives us confidence as we face the uncertain future. We know that he is in control of the universe, and so we can rest secure. But also important is the knowledge that this God in heaven has chosen to bend near toward earth to see our sorrow and hear our prayers. He is not so far above us that he is not touched by our tears.

Though we may not be able to see his purpose or his plan, the Lord of heaven is on his throne and in firm control of the universe and our lives. So we entrust him with our future. We entrust him with our very lives.

Chapter Two

GOD'S GREAT LOVE

It was her singing that did it. At first I didn't notice. Had no reason to. The circumstances were commonplace. A daddy picking up his six-year-old from a Brownie troop meeting. Sara loves Brownies; she loves the awards she earns and the uniform she wears. She'd climbed into the car and shown me her new badge and freshly baked cookie. I'd turned onto the road, turned on her favorite music, and turned my attention to more sophisticated matters of schedules and obligations.

But only steps into the maze of thought I stepped back out. Sara was singing. Singing about God. Singing to God. Head back, chin up, and lungs full, she filled the car with music. Heaven's harps paused to listen.

Is that my daughter? She sounds older. She looks older, taller, even prettier. Did I sleep through something? What happened to the chubby cheeks? What happened to the little face and pudgy fingers? She is becoming a young lady. Blonde hair down to her shoulders. Feet dangling over the seat. Somewhere in the night a page had turned and-well, look at her!

If you're a parent, you know what I mean. Just yesterday, diapers. Today, the car keys? Suddenly your child is halfway to the dormitory, and you're running out of chances to show your love, so you speak.

That's what I did. The song stopped, and Sara stopped, and I ejected the tape and put my hand on her shoulder and said, "Sara, you're something special." She turned and smiled tolerantly. "Someday some hairy-legged boy is going to steal your heart and sweep you into the next century. But right now, you belong to me."

She tilted her head, looked away for a minute, then looked back and asked, "Daddy, why are you acting so weird?"

I suppose such words would sound strange to a six-year-old. The love of a parent falls awkwardly on the ears of a child. My burst of emotion was beyond her. But that didn't keep me from speaking.

There is no way our little minds can comprehend the love of God. But that didn't keep him from coming.

And we, too, have tilted our heads. Like Sara, we have wondered what our Father was doing. From the cradle in Bethlehem to the cross in Jerusalem, we've pondered the love of our Father. What can you say to that kind of emotion? Upon learning that God would rather die than live without you, how do you react? How can you begin to explain such passion? If you're Paul the apostle, you don't. You make no statements. You offer no explanations. You ask a few questions.

These questions are not new to you. You've asked them before. In the night you've asked them; in anger you've asked them. The doctor's diagnosis brought them to the surface, as did the court's decision, the phone call from the bank, and the incomprehensible tragedies that occur in our world. The questions are probes of pain and problem and circumstance. No, the questions are not new, but maybe the answers are.

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31 NIV)

The question is not simply "Who can be against us?" You could answer that one. Who is against you? Disease, inflation, corruption, exhaustion. Calamities confront, and fears imprison. Were Paul's question "Who can be against us?" we could list our foes much easier than we could fight them. But that is not the question. The question is, If God is for us, who can be against us?

Indulge me for a moment. Four words in this verse deserve your attention. Read slowly the phrase "God is for us." Please pause for a minute before you continue. Read it again, aloud. (My apologies to the person next to you.) God is for us. Repeat the phrase four times, this time emphasizing each word. (Come on, you're not in that big of a hurry.)

God is for us. God is for us. God is for us.

God is for us.

God is for you. Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you, but within reach of your prayers is the Maker of the oceans. God!

God is for you. Not "may be," not "has been," not "was," not "would be," but "God is"! He is for you. Today. At this hour. At this minute. As you read this sentence. No need to wait in line or come back tomorrow. He is with you. He could not be closer than he is at this second. His loyalty won't increase if you are better nor lessen if you are worse. He is for you.

God is for you. Turn to the sidelines; that's God cheering your run. Look past the finish line; that's God applauding your steps. Listen for him in the bleachers, shouting your name. Too tired to continue? He'll carry you. Too discouraged to fight? He's picking you up. God is for you.

God is for you. Had he a calendar, your birthday would be circled. If he drove a car, your name would be on his bumper. If there's a tree in heaven, he's carved your name in the bark. We know he has a tattoo, and we know what it says. "I have written your name on my hand," he declares (Isa. 49:16).

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?" God asks in Isaiah 49:15 (NIV). What a bizarre question. Can you mothers imagine feeding your infant and then later asking, "What was that baby's name?" No. I've seen you care for your young. You stroke the hair, you touch the face, you sing the name over and over. Can a mother forget? No way. But "even if she could forget, I will not forget you," God pledges (Isa. 49:15).

God is with you. Knowing that, who is against you? Can death harm you now? Can disease rob your life? Can your purpose be taken or your value diminished? No. Though hell itself may set itself against you, no one can defeat you. You are protected. God is with you.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8:32 NIV)

Suppose a man comes upon a child being beaten by thugs. He dashes into the mob, rescues the boy, and carries him to a hospital. The youngster is nursed to health. The man pays for the child's treatment. He learns that the child is an orphan and adopts him as his own and gives the boy his name. And then, one night months later, the father hears the son sobbing into his pillow. He goes to him and asks about the tears.

"I'm worried, Daddy. I'm worried about tomorrow. Where will I get food to eat? How am I going to buy clothes to stay warm? And where will I sleep?"

The father is rightfully troubled. "Haven't I shown you? Don't you understand? I risked my life to save you. I gave my money to treat you. You wear my name. I've called you my son. Would I do all that and then not meet your needs?"

This is Paul's question. Would he who gave his Son not meet our needs?

But still we worry. We worry about the IRS and the SAT and the FBI. We worry about education, recreation, and constipation. We worry that we won't have enough money, and when we have money, we worry that we won't manage it well. We worry that the world will end before the parking meter expires. We worry what the dog thinks if he sees us step out of the shower. We worry that someday we'll learn that fat-free yogurt was fattening.

Honestly, now. Did God save you so you would fret? Would he teach you to walk just to watch you fall? Would he be nailed to the cross for your sins and then disregard your prayers? Come on. Is Scripture teasing us when it says, "He has put his angels in charge of you to watch over you wherever you go" (Ps. 91:11)?

I don't think so either.

Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? (Rom. 8:35)

There it is. This is the question. Here is what we want to know. We want to know how long God's love will endure. Does God really love us forever? Not just on Easter Sunday when our shoes are shined and our hair is fixed. I want to know (deep within, don't we all really want to know?), how does God feel about me when I'm a jerk? Not when I'm peppy and positive and ready to tackle world hunger. Not then. I know how he feels about me then. Even I like me then.

I want to know how he feels about me when I snap at anything that moves, when my thoughts are gutter-level, when my tongue is sharp enough to slice a rock. How does he feel about me then?

And when bad things happen-does God care then? Does he love me in the midst of fear? Is he with me when danger lurks?

Will God stop loving me?

That's the question. That's the concern. Oh, you don't say it; you may not even know it. But I can see it on your faces. I can hear it in your words. Did I cross the line this week? Last Tuesday when I drank vodka until I couldn't walk ... last Thursday when my business took me where I had no business being ... last summer when I cursed the God who made me as I stood near the grave of the child he gave me?

Did I drift too far? Wait too long? Slip too much? Was I too uncertain? Too fearful? Too angry at the pain in this world?

That's what we want to know.

Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us?

God answered our question before we asked it. So we'd see his answer, he lit the sky with a star. So we'd hear it, he filled the night with a choir. And so we'd believe it, he did what no man had ever dreamed; he became flesh and dwelt among us.

He placed his hand on the shoulder of humanity and said, "You're something special."

Untethered by time, he sees us all. From the backwoods of Virginia to the business district of London; from the Vikings to the astronauts; from the cave dwellers to the kings; from the hut builders to the finger pointers to the rock stackers; he sees us. Vagabonds and ragamuffins all, he saw us before we were born.

And he loves what he sees. Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, "You are my child. I love you dearly. I'm aware that someday you'll turn from me and walk away. But I want you to know, I've already provided you a way back."

And to prove it, he did something extraordinary.

Stepping from the throne, he removed his robe of light and wrapped himself in skin: pigmented, human skin. The light of the universe entered a dark, wet womb. He who angels worship nestled himself in the placenta of a peasant, was birthed into the cold night, and then slept on cow's hay.

Mary didn't know whether to give him milk or give him praise, but she gave him both since he was, as near as she could figure, hungry and holy.

Joseph didn't know whether to call him Junior or Father. But in the end he called him Jesus, since that's what the angel said and since he didn't have the faintest idea what to name a God he could cradle in his arms.

Neither Mary nor Joseph said it as bluntly as my Sara, but don't you think their heads tilted and their minds wondered, What in the world are you doing, God? Or, better phrased, God, what are you doing in the world?

"Can anything make me stop loving you?" God asks. "Watch me speak your language, sleep on your earth, and feel your hurts. Behold the Maker of sight and sound as he sneezes, coughs, and blows his nose. You wonder if I understand how you feel? Look into the dancing eyes of the kid in Nazareth; that's God walking to school. Ponder the toddler at Mary's table; that's God spilling his milk.

"You wonder how long my love will last? Find your answer on a splintered cross, on a craggy hill. That's me you see up there, your Maker, your God. Nail-stabbed and bleeding. Covered in spit and sin-soaked. That's your sin I'm feeling. That's your death I'm dying. That's your resurrection I'm living. That's how much I love you.

"Can anything come between you and me?" asks the firstborn Son.

Hear the answer and stake your future on the triumphant words of Paul: "I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38-39).

(Continues...)



Excerpted from FOR THE TOUGH TIMES by Max Lucado Copyright © 2006 by Max Lucado. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction When All That Is Good Falls Apart....................vii
1 WHERE IS GOD?....................1
2 GOD'S GREAT LOVE....................7
3 EYES ON THE FATHER....................23
4 GOOD TRIUMPHANT....................31
5 THE BITTER TASTE OF REVENGE....................47
6 IN THE SILENCE, GOD SPEAKS....................55
7 IN THE STORM, WE PRAY....................65
8 FROM GOD'S PERSPECTIVE....................71
DO IT AGAIN, LORD A Prayer for Troubled Times....................77
Notes....................81
About the Author....................83
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2007

    blueprint for the soul

    max lucados little book 'for these tough times' is a very inexpensive publication but I found that the awnsers that the arthur provides are priceless.this fast reading page turner is all about what to do whean you hurt or have been hurt by someone.this bestseller speaks to the churched and the unchurched cause whean your hurting you dont want alot of heavy reading you want something that is light and speaks to your issue and shows you how to deal with it and how to get back on your feet with Gods help. great gift idea for friend family member or soldier serving over seas and small enough to fit in your pocket and great for traveling or Bible study.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    need hope

    I was in grieve, and this book gave me light. Max Lucado is a great writter. Even though one can be close to God, you need to hear or read things that give you clarity in your times of fog and darkness.

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

    Great Gift for our troubled friends

    Max Lucado once again succeeded in giving inspiration through this book. It's short (80 pages) and straight to the point. It didn't bore me at all. I like how Max relates the verses from the Bible to our current situations. I think this is a perfect gift for a troubled friend. An extra comfort that our physical comfort could not provide.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    For These Tough Times

    Max Lucado's book For These Tough Times is a short and concise book for when life hits you with a tragedy, a time of suffering, or some other loss.

    In just 79 pages, this book looks at the normal questions that arise during times of difficulty (such as "Where is God?") and reminds us of what a Christian's faith is built upon and how that knowledge can help us weather the storm of loss and suffering.

    Lucado takes time to review the greatness of God, God's magnificent love for his children, our need to keep our eyes focused on God in the midst of adversity, the history of Satan and the way God turns evil to work for his purposes, the importance of resisting revenge, the importance of being still before God and waiting, the overarching significance of prayer through any difficult time.

    Lucado has condensed a large amount of truth into a small book. This can be helpful for those who don't like to read, yet need to grasp this material. A deep and thoughtful reader may find herself wishing for more elaboration. At times Lucado's efforts to make a lot of points in a short amount of time leave him resorting to wit, which may seem too light to certain readers for the weighty matters he is discussing. All in all, Lucado sticks to sound and right theology.

    This book could be a good beginning for someone needing to study the Christian path through suffering. It could also function as a guide for someone needing words of wisdom and comfort to offer to a friend in hard circumstances.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2009

    For tough times - God's presence in our lives

    This is the first time i had read book written by max lucado, heard about him from various friends.<BR/><BR/>I had read the book, Max Lucado specifically addresses finding God in the midst of tragedy and suffering, and there is god in any situation we are facing in our lives. it is a pretty short and easy to read book, i can carry it anywhere and while on the bus i read it bit by bit. <BR/><BR/>at the first few pages i kinna feel a bit bored but when i continue to read it with humility and open mind, it really speaks the truth in my life and others around me. i am blessed by this little book and i strongly encourage you to take a peek at it.<BR/><BR/>When everything falls in your life, this book is the appropriate one that will speaks to your life and will give you strength to overcome it. the ending was okay, expect more strong ending but it was okay.<BR/><BR/>overall it was a worthwhile to read it through my morning commute to work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2009

    FOR THE TOUGH TIMES

    It seems like in the world today, everyone, everywhere is hurting in some form or fashion. Many are asking questions, wondering to themselves if there is a God why could He allow this to happen to my little baby, or why won't he help me with finding a job, etc. ect. Max Lucado's book, "For the tough times" does not have all of the answers, nor does he claim to. But he does fill this short little book with a vast amount of hope for getting through the tough times. He gives many examples from the Bible of which many suffered and because of their suffering and faith in God they received many blessings. I like how Lucado takes us back to the beginning of evil. He gives us the illustration of satan wanting to be more powerful than God. He shows us that no matter how hard satan tries to make us fall and wants us to be more like him and bigger than God, satan always makes the kingdom of God stronger. Lucado talks about how satan wants to question our faith and wants to test us to make us fail. I know many families who have had trial after trial and they continually praise God. This is just what satan cannot stand. I would suggest this book to anyone. I feel that the way it is written is a very easy read and it is very short. I think it is appropriate in it's length, because more than likely those going through a trial wouldn't want a long lengthy book. This book gives a quick dose of hope and encouragement. I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read it!

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  • Posted January 24, 2009

    Disappointing

    Max Lucado<BR/>For The Tough Times<BR/>I have read three of Lacado¿s books previously, one of them Just Like Jesus I remember being impressed with his story telling ability but thinking that he had nothing to say. Also I read He Chose The Nails, which was better and shows that Lacado has a good understanding of atonement, although not from a reformed perspective. I found this book For the Tough Times a little to short for the subject matter, for the most part it felt like a pep talk from a couch before a football game. In fact at one point taking Paul¿s words from Romans 8 he talks about God being for us, his illustration is of God being on the sidelines cheering us on, being at the finishing line to embrace us as we finish. Although I agree God is for us, the illustration left me wondering do we worship God or does God worship us? <BR/> Although he did cover how God uses suffering to produce character in the believer¿s life, the introduction and the closing prayer suggested keep going things will get better. He used David, Joseph and especially Job to illustrate this, but didn¿t really get to grips with how suffering can be a gift. In the closing prayer Lucado says `Most of all do again what you did at Calvary. What we saw in this tragedy, you saw there on that Friday. Innocence ended. Goodness suffering etc, he goes on `Turn this Calvary into an Easter.¿ I would really like to ask him what he was thinking at this point. The atonement is a one off event, he knows this, so what does he mean? Maybe he is talking glibly about our ¿Calvary experiences¿ As Christians are we called to experience resurrection every day? Or for us to take up our cross and follow Him? I was also wondering what the young Joni Erickson Tada would make of the pep talk after she took her dive and found herself disabled, would she find hope in the tough times? I am not sure that she would.

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  • Posted January 16, 2009

    great book to give away

    Yesterday I read through Max Lucado's book entitled "For These Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope and Healing". The title is nearly as long as the book. However, Max Lucado is a wonderful word smith and gave deliver a big message with few words. Of course it was written before the economic crisis loomed but it has some very good thoughts that can be both comforting and reassuring during all that is going on in our country. This is a wonderful book for many in our congregation who have had the bottom fall out of their professional careers.<BR/><BR/>One of my favorite lines in this book really shows the heart of the book. "Nature is God's workshop. The sky is his resume. The universe his calling card." A proper view of our God makes all current problems pale in comparison. Mr. Lucado makes one point very clear: God is unaltered by our storms.<BR/><BR/>David prays a question in the Psalms "When all that is good falls apart, What can good people do?. These book expounds on that question. However, it is balanced with the wonderful answer found in the same verse "The LORD is in his holy temple; The LORD sits on his throne in heaven." I would recommend this book.

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

    Wonderful Book

    I have always enjoyed Max Lucado's books and writings. His message has always been focusing the human condition onto Jesus. While our life swirls, He remains constant. While our faith falters, His grace abounds. While we stumble, He supports. <BR/><BR/>For The Tough Times is no different. This book is a refresher with respect to how God remains while we may tumble. Personally, I know that my life would be much different without the Lord. Over the last few years, I have had the wonderful experience of watching God work in such wonderful and amazing ways. <BR/><BR/>While this book is rather short, and small of stature, it contains much to help us as Christians focus our thoughts regardless of our "condition" on God and things eternal. One of my absolute favorite sections is: <BR/><BR/>"We're thinking, Preserve the body; he's thinking save the soul. We dream of a pay raise, He dreams of raising the dead. We avoid pain and seek peace; God uses pain to bring peace."<BR/><BR/>As is typical with Max Lucado's books, this one reads very smoothly, and quickly. Shorter chapters lure one to read the next. And, again as is typical, each chapter builds on the previous and provides an inspiring next step. <BR/><BR/>I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will recommend it to my friends and family.

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

    Max Lucado's For These Tough Times

    Max Lucado has done it again. This is a small booklet type book, like the ones that you read as a devotional everyday, so it didn¿t take long to read through it. I was as impressed as I have ever been with a Max Lucado book and yet I wasn¿t filled with the hope and promise of other books of this type.<BR/><BR/>He begins this book with a question of ¿Where is God?¿ We are reminded of the fact that God doesn¿t think, feel, act, or even look at things the same way we do. We assume that He (God) thinks within the confines of our brain. The things that trouble us do not trouble God in the same way. We think about saving our life¿He thinks about saving our soul.<BR/><BR/>He ends the book with a riveting statement, ¿Do It Again Lord.¿ Reminding us of so many like, the Hebrew people in Egypt, Joseph, Sarah, Daniel, the disciples, that he has rescued. The amount of grace and love he has for us<BR/>surpasses any other. We ask, plead, and even beg, ¿Do it again Lord.<BR/><BR/>One thing for sure, you can tell Max Lucado has a love for God and he has a way of putting that into words that actually grip the reader enough to finish the book.

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  • Posted January 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Genuinely Genuine & Helpful

    This 2006 title is as relevant today as it was when first released. For These Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven For Hope & Healing, by Max Lucado, (published by Thomas Nelson) is a small hard-back book that offers admirable descriptive writing and a very comforting message to the grief stricken. <BR/>Tough Times gave me the feeling of comfort and relaxation I get when I pull a fully warm down comforter fresh from the dryer and drape it over my shoulders. <BR/>The message of one of God¿s grace in times of complete confusion and question. Why God? Why?<BR/>Tough Times answers the question.<BR/>I¿m always impressed by Max Lucado¿s work simply because he has just a God-given gift to express the love of God to mankind. But this book was a perfect 2-hour read time, was packaged and priced in a way that makes it a good choice for gift giving. <BR/>I¿m going to read this book again and again because its message is so well told that I want the words in this book to burn into my memory. For me, it¿s very easy to get overwhelmed by life¿s angering, confusing, mismatched twists and turns and I really need to remind myself why God ¿ why.

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    Too Short

    I just finished reading For The Tough Times by Max Lucado. The second part of the title reads Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope and Healing. This book is a sort of an answer guide for the extremely difficult times in life when Christians ask "Where is God?" "Does He care or hear my prayers?" "Why does He let this happen?" Considering the deep subject matter, I was surprised when I opened the packaging the book was mailed in to find a tiny little thing about 5" by 7" and only 80 pages in length. I wondered how Max Lucado was even going to broach such a sensitive topic in such a short book. I admit that he has a distinct, impressive writing style. He puts hard to understand ideas into everyday language and uses analogies that really resonate with me and probably lots of other people. There were several nuggets in this book that made me pause and think "Wow." The things he writes in this book are good, but a little too brief to do justice to the enormity of pain that causes these kinds of soul-searching questions. It's a good reminder book, to help us prepare for the times when we are going to be hurting and questioning God's role in that. But, I would not recommend giving this book to a person that is in the midst of that type of pain or to someone who has never had any experience with grappling with the answers to those questions from a Christian perspective.<BR/>I will give it 3 out of 5 stars for being a good concise reminder that God is in control. But I would have liked it better if the author had expounded on the ideas he presented.

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  • Posted December 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    For These Tough Times

    I read the first of many Max Lucado books in 1986. No Wonder They Call Him Savior was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was conversational. It was fresh and invigorating. It was wordsmithed rather than written. It was obvious Lucado cared as much about individual words and phrases as chapters and sections.<BR/><BR/>Lucado¿s latest, For These Tough Times: Reaching toward heaven for hope and healing, is another in his growing repertoire of inspirational works. In it he tackles the age-old dilemma:<BR/><BR/>¿ Why do bad things happen to good people?<BR/>¿ Where is God when tragedy strikes?<BR/>¿ Why is there evil in the world?<BR/><BR/>Lucado unpacks King David¿s take on the problem of problems, ¿When all that is good falls apart, what can good people do?¿ (Psalm 11:3). His conclusion? Nothing catches God off guard, by surprise, or not alert. God is not altered by our problems nor threatened by our storms.<BR/><BR/>Rather, God is in charge. He even uses Satan for his purposes to refine the faithful, awaken the sleeping, and teach the church. <BR/><BR/>Each chapter in this short 79-page book reads like a virtual Who¿s Who of the Bible; Moses, David, Paul, Daniel, Joseph, Peter, Jesus. And you and me. One walks away understanding that God¿s movement in their lives then was not much different from his movement in our lives now.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    when you need some guidance

    I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers not long ago. I was interested in seeing what Max Lucado had to say again. I have been a fan of a lot of his work in the past because his writing is very easy to read. For These Tough Times was no different. The 80-page book was a very easy read.<BR/><BR/>For These Tough Times tackles the questions that many people hold inside: Where is God when bad things happen? Does God care? Does God hear my prayers in the difficult times? Lucado, as a minister, has heard the cries of people like this often and put together a good work to help shed some light on these subjects. This work does not seek to fully answer each question, but it does give a good starting point for each question. The tone of the book seems more like a conversation that one is having with Lucado over a cup of coffee. Lucado does a great job of using everyday illustrations to make the Scripture he uses come to life for the situations that arise.<BR/><BR/>I would highly recommend this book to those who are looking for some answers to difficult times that one may go through. This work will bring encouragement and insight to any difficult situation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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