Unshakable Hope

Unshakable Hope
Building Our Lives on the Promises of God
(Thomas Nelson, 2018)

WHO: Max Lucado, who serves Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.

HE SAYS: “Picture God’s words falling like rain from heaven on you. Imagine these promises as gentle spring showers. Receive them. Allow them to land on you, to soak you.”

THE BIG IDEA: God is dependable, unchanging, trustworthy and faithful. With people today dying for lack of hope, Christians can filter life through God’s promises. We need to build our lives on these promises.

THE PROGRESSION:
The author outlines the case for trusting in God’s promises and the benefits this will have for our quality of life. He begins each chapter with a specific promise and relates a story to show how God keeps his word.

“Build your life on the promises of God. Since his promises are unbreakable, your hope will be unshakable. The winds will still blow. The rain will still fall. But in the end you will be standing—standing on the promises of God.”

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Thomas Nelson is also releasing several ancillary products in the Unshakable Hope line:

· Praying the Promises, a gift book featuring stories of God’s faithfulness plus tangible ways readers can implement faith into their prayer life.

· Unshakable Hope Promise Book: Student Edition, written specifically for teens, demonstrates how God has kept his promises throughout history.

· Unshakable Hope Study Guide with DVD, a 12-week study that explores the lives of biblical heroes, includes one study guide and one DVD.

· Unshakable Hope Church Campaign Kit, featuring the trade book, one study guide, the DVD study, a children’s curriculum CD-ROM, Unshakable Hope Promise Book: Student Edition, Praying the Promises, God Always Keeps His Promises and customizable promotional resources.

· God Always Keeps His Promises is a picture book for children ages 4 to 8 that shows how trustworthy God is.

A CONVERSATION WITH MAX LUCADO

How does the sheer quantity of God’s promises speak to the character of God?

One student of Scripture spent a year and a half attempting to tally the number of promises God has made to humanity. He came up with 7,487 promises. God’s promises are pine trees in the Rocky Mountains of Scripture: abundant, unbending and perennial. Some of the promises are positive, the assurance of blessings. Some are negative, the guarantee of consequences. But all are binding, for not only is God a promise maker; God is a promise keeper. From the first chapter of Scripture, the Bible makes a case for the dependability of God. Nine times the text reiterates “God said.” And without exception when God spoke, something happened. Something wonderful happened. By divine fiat there was light, land, beaches, and creatures. God consulted no advisers. He needed no assistance. He spoke, and it happened. The reader is left with one conclusion: God’s word is sure. What he says happens.

How should “being made in God’s image” impact how we treat other human beings?

Every person you see was created by God to bear his image and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This means all people deserve to be seen for who they are: image bearers of God. Imagine the impact this promise would have on the society that embraced it. What civility it would engender. What kindness it would foster. Racism will not flourish when people believe their neighbors bear God’s image. The fire of feuds will have no fuel when people believe their adversaries are God’s idea. Will a man abuse a woman? Not if he believes she bears the stamp of God. Will a boss neglect an employee? Not if she believes the employee bears a divine spark. Will society write off the indigent, the mentally ill, the inmate on death row, or the refugee? Not if we believe, truly believe, that every human being is God’s idea. And he has no bad ideas.

What part does prayer play in a life of unshakable hope?

When God saved you, he enlisted you. He gave not only forgiveness for your past but also authority in the present and a role in the future. This life is on-the-job training for eternity. God is preparing you to reign with him in heaven. We are part of God’s family. Ruling the universe is the family business. Our Father has a vested interest in ours. When you, as God’s child, seek to honor the family business, God hears your requests. God hears these prayers as quickly as they are offered. Why? Because they come from his child. Will God do what you ask? Perhaps. Or perhaps he will do more than you imagined. He knows what is best. Stand firmly on this promise: “When a believing person prays, great things happen” (James 5:16 NCV). You are never without hope, because you are never without prayer.