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You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times
by Max Lucado
I have always been fascinated by the Biblical story of Joseph, from the coat of many colors to saving Egypt and his people from famine. The story includes pride and arrogance, bad parenting, attempted fratricide, slavery, temptations, false accusations, jail, forgotten promises, a rise to power, revenge, and forgiveness. Joseph’s life was a roller coaster ride. There had to be a lot of times when Joseph could have questioned God, “Why me?”
Max Lucado uses Joseph’s story to speak to those who are hurting, who find themselves in a pit of despair. In You’ll Get Through This, Lucado offers the hope found in the Bible that what was intended for evil can be used by God for good. Lucado is the ultimate storyteller, and he brings in stories of people he knows and those he has met to demonstrate his points. With chapters like “Stupid Won’t Fix Stupid” and “Is God Good When Life Isn’t?”, Lucado’s book is Biblical, practical, and inspirational. I read it at the pace of a chapter a day with more than a few sneak peeks ahead, and I plan on rereading it. There is so much help and understanding rooted in its pages for both men and women who are facing life’s challenges.
Category: Christian, Nonfiction, Self-Help
Notes: To aid readers who want to use You’ll Get Through This for book or Bible study, there are added “Questions for Reflection” at the end of the book to accompany each chapter.
Publication: September 10, 2013—Thomas Nelson
You’ll get through this.
It won’t be painless.
It won’t be quick.
But God will use this mess for good.
Don’t be foolish or naive.
But don’t despair either.
With God’s help, you’ll get through this.
Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse God’s accomplishments is to discover his heart. To discover his heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. It does to anxiety what the morning sun does to valley mist. It burns it up.
God is plotting for our good. In all the setbacks and slip-ups, he is ordaining the best for our future. Every event of our days is designed to draw us toward our God and our destiny.
Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children
by Jodie Berndt
What better way to start off the new year than with a book on prayer? Parenting doesn’t end where the empty nest begins, but the whole approach changes when our children become adults.
Jodie Berndt has written several books on “praying the Scriptures.” What she means by that is the very simple concept of taking scriptural promises and turning them into requests inserting a name. For example, in praying for a child who has a job loss or financial difficulty, Berndt turns II Chronicles 15:7 (“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”) into a petition: “Help _______ be strong and not give up. Reward her for her work.” Praying the Scriptures is certainly a powerful way of approaching the throne of God with the pleadings of our hearts.
The format of the book is equally simple. The reader is encouraged to study the whole book, but can also go directly to sections that are of particular concern. Each chapter has an appropriate title and starts with a summary Bible verse. For example, “Praying for Protection from Harm” opens with Psalm 34:7: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him.” Next the author shares a real life story from her own family or from parents she has interviewed who have had this particular struggle. She inserts “prayer principles” in the story to add focus and for easy reference. One in this example chapter is “Asking God to put his angels in charge of your child’s safety encompasses more than just physical protection. We can trust Him to stand guard over their hearts and minds too.” The next section, “Poised for Prayer,” expands more on the parental attitude to prayer in this specific case. Most importantly, the chapter ends with “Prayers You Can Use” which holds two sections. The first holds a few Scriptures turned into prayers for parents to use for themselves as they turn to God by supporting their child through prayer asking for wisdom and understanding while releasing the adult child to God’s care. The second is a longer section containing about a dozen prayers asking God to intercede in their child’s life.
Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children acknowledges that parents are just people searching for answers and help. It does not play a guilt game over past parenting faults (real or imagined). It just leads the parent to find appropriate ways to pray without interfering. The book does not claim cookie cutter solutions to the many very difficult issues we all encounter as God works differently in each person’s life.
The challenge and help of this book can easily be extended to anyone praying for any other adult and even for oneself as you seek God’s will and help through a tough season. The personal accounts show how differently God works in each situation and are comforting as they show that you are not alone in your struggles. The verses that are aptly chosen give a quick and focused path to prayer, but certainly, anyone could use the same approach on their own in searching out Scriptures that apply to their situations.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Zondervan for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: This book can be a bit overwhelming when read in one fell swoop, but having done that and with the bigger picture in mind, the reader can then zoom in on a particular chapter and apply its principles.
Publication: December 5, 2017—Zondervan
The things you give to God in prayer—your worries, concerns, and needs—are the ties that bind your heart to his. Our struggles are his entry points.
The more we allow the Bible to shape our prayers, the more our requests will line up with God’s plans.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” I realized that it didn’t matter whose plan we were following; the outcome was up to the Lord. My job was to get out of his way.
God is not just interested in results; he wants relationship.