Struggling With Grief: An Interview with Max Lucado

You'll Get Through This (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

Max Lucado

You’ll Get Through This | Max Lucado

Grief is universal. It touches all of us at one point or another. From the big to the small—though none of it ever seems small at the time. From the expected to the unexpected. Taking from the story of Joseph, pastor and NYT bestseller Max Lucado teaches readers how to endure and persevere through grief.

In 2013, Josh Olds had the chance to sit down with Max Lucado and talk about the book, being a pastor, and the reason for his wild success. Along the way, Max gives Josh some pastoral advice about writing—something that still resonates to this day.

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. - Max Lucado

Josh Olds: What did you want to say through this book?

Max Lucado: You’ll Get Through This is exactly that: a message of hope to encourage people who are passing through tough times. It’s really a war against despair. It’s a message against despondency. As a pastor now for 30 years, I’ve realized that there’s something that happens to people when they pass through tough times, that if they’re not careful, they will slide down into such a pit, they’ll never come back up. And what I wanted to do is give people a message of hope that would just encourage them and lift them up and help them out of this, through this season of difficulty.

I based the study or the book on the life of Joseph in the Old Testament, because I don’t know anybody who went through as many tough times as he did. But boy, he didn’t just survive, he thrived. And he had such a great understanding of how God used those tough times to create something good.

Josh: How do you hope people response to this message?

Max: Well, well, I hope people will respond by taking a step out of despair. But taking a step out of despair, if I can just talk one person off the ledge, if I can just convince one person not to make matters worse by making a bad decision. That’s, that’s my goal. Because when we’re in despair, Josh, you know this, we just make bad decisions, and we draw the wrong conclusions about life. But if we can just hold on to some hope, then we’ll think more clearly and make better decisions. And we really will get through.

Josh: This is a wildly different topic, but I have to ask since I have you. What advice do you have for people who want to write like you do?

Max: If God has called you to be a writer, hey, congratulations! You’re in the league with, you know, he called Luke to be a writer and Paul to be a writer. You’re in pretty good company! And he’ll give you what you need. He’ll give you what you need to go at it and see what happens.

The Book | You’ll Get Through This

Through the Tough Times Max LucadoYou fear you won’t make it through. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. In the pits, surrounded by steep walls and aching reminders, we wonder: Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten?

In You’ll Get Through This, pastor and New York Times best-selling author, Max Lucado offers sweet assurance. “Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere.” Max reminds readers God doesn’t promise that getting through trials will be quick or painless. It wasn’t for Joseph–tossed in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, forgotten and dismissed—but his Old Testament story is in the Bible for this reason: to teach us to trust God to overcome evil.

With the compassion of a pastor, the heart of a storyteller, and the joy of one who has seen what God can do, Max explores the story of Joseph and the truth of Genesis 50:20. What Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good.

The Author | Max Lucado

Max Lucado says he “writes books for people who don’t read books.’ Even so, his best-selling books have sold 100 million copies across 54 languages worldwide. Perhaps Lucado is converting non-readers with his poetic storytelling and homespun humor. Perhaps readers can sense that his encouraging words flow from the heart of a pastor.

Every trade book Max Lucado has written during the last 30 years began as a sermon series for his home church Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. Max presses every word of his sermons through this sieve: Why would this matter on Monday morning? How can I relate the promises of God to every person, wherever they are, regardless of the burdens they carry?

Since his first book On the Anvil was published in 1985, Max Lucado has been sharing the promises of God in sermons, books, articles and media interviews. His writing is also featured in videos, devotionals, songs, plush toys, greeting cards, booklets, Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. 130 million of these products have been sold around the globe. His books regularly appear on national bestseller lists including the New York Times.

Lucado has been dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today, and Reader’s Digest called him “The Best Preacher in America.” The New York Times has named Max one of the most influential leaders in social media. He has been featured on countless media outlets including USA Today, “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” NPR, CNN, “Fox & Friends,” and Life is Story.

Max and Denalyn live in San Antonio, Texas, and have three grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren.