Max Lucado is the minster of preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. His "UpWords" radio messages can be heard on radio stations around the world. Max is the author of numerous books including God's Story, Your Story; Grace; and You'll Get Through This—the book from which this week's readings are adapted. He has been married to Denalyn since 1981.
What he Said … God's in the Deliverance Business
Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere.
Out of the lions' den for Daniel, the whale's belly for Jonah, the grave for Lazarus, the shackles for Paul.
God gets us through stuff. Through the Red Sea onto dry ground (Ex. 14:22), through the wilderness (Deut. 29:5), through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:4).
It won't be painless. Have you wept your final tear or received your last round of chemotherapy? Not necessarily. But God does pledge to reweave your pain for a higher purpose.
It won't be quick. Sometimes God takes his time. [It took] 120 years to prepare Noah for the flood, 80 years to prepare Moses for his work. How long will God take with you? He may take his time. His history is redeemed not in minutes but in lifetimes.
But God will use your mess for good. We see a perfect mess; God sees a perfect chance to train, test, and teach.
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Heavenly Father, you tell me in your Word that you can bring good out of the worst situations (Rom. 8:28) and that nothing can ever separate me from your love (Rom. 8:35-39). Help me to believe and cling to these truths and promises, especially when major disappointments and devastating news come my way.
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