In You Are Never Alone, pastor and New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado will show you that you're stronger than you think because God is nearer than you know. You'll be comforted by the living, loving, miracle-working God who doesn't think twice about stepping into the thorny thickets of your world to lift you out.
When life feels depleted, does God care?
When I hear him say “No”, does he have a response?
I’m facing an onslaught of challenges, will he help?
When life grows dark and stormy, does he notice?
I’m facing the fear of death, will he help me?
The answer in the life-giving miracles in the Gospel of John is a resounding yes. Do you know them? Do you believe in a Jesus who has, not only power, but a passionate love for the weak and wounded of the world? Do you think he cares enough about you to find you in the lonely waiting rooms, rehab centres and convalescent homes of life?
You and I long for Someone who will meet us in the midst of life’s messes. We long to believe in a living, loving, miracle-working God who won’t think twice about stepping into the thorny thickets of our world and lift us out.
If this is your desire, take a good look at the words of John and the miracles of Christ and see if they don’t achieve their desired goal: “That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name”
The book’s message is exactly what it says on the front cover: you, the reader, are never alone. Using John’s gospel as a biblical baseline, and everyday examples from the author’s life and the people around him, Max Lucado (author and Teaching Minister at Oak Hills Church, US) aims to show that God is undeniably with us through everything. The biblical miracles and the modern examples that Max chooses aim to show the reader that no matter what they face or what they are walking through, God is with them.
The biblical examples are well researched, and the language used is clear and accessible. Lucado breaks up the Bible passages to interject relevant background information and broaden the biblical picture, or to offer an interpretation of events. The book is both encouraging and challenging, at times humorous and at times drawing on pastoral sensitivity, but always with wisdom and compassion. Each chapter represents a different miracle from John’s Gospel, and Lucado links it to times we might feel alone, either through his personal stories or by metaphors of what we might face in everyday living. He links in other Bible characters or verses to back up his main point and encourage. Because of this, some prior biblical knowledge would be helpful, but not essential, to get the most out of this book.
I particularly like how each chapter offers a personal challenge of the part we play, the choice to trust and be obedient. I also like how each chapter finishes on a positive encouragement. This is definitely a book to build people up. On a personal level, I was struck by the reassurance of God’s promise to me, over and over again, that God has always been and will always be there.
I would recommend this book to individuals, small groups and preachers. Andrea Lucado (Max Lucado’s daughter) has prepared questions for each chapter (all at the back of the book) to help explore on a deeper personal level. Not every circumstance in the book will resonate with every reader, but I would recommend it overall to every Christian at any stage on their journey of faith.
Preach magazine book review by Karen Taylor, Visitor Experience Officer at Guildford Cathedral, who loves reading, writing, baking and being creative.