Highlight: Max Lucado, Because of Bethlehem.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…except when it’s not.

“It’s funny how Christmas makes the good better and the bad worse; the good times with family seem even better, but the bad experiences seem even worse.”

“This is true for a person who’s found themselves in the hospital at Christmas. Maybe you buried somebody that you love more than life, and this is your first Christmas alone. Maybe it’s your first Christmas since the divorce. Maybe you’re unemployed this Christmas. What’s difficult is even worse at Christmas.”

Max Lucado says it’s during those hard times that we need the promises of Christmas most:

“I think it’s because every time we come into Christmas, we come with expectations that it’s going to be a happy joyful time. But maybe this Christmas is a reminder more of what a person doesn’t have rather than what they do.”

To everyone struggling through this season, the Christmas message can give needed hope.

“We can claim the promises of Christmas in those difficult Christmases maybe more than any other time. The promise that God understands us, He became flesh and lived with us. The promise that God hears our prayers. The promise that the God forgives all our sins.”

“Sometimes those difficult Christmases give us an opportunity to really reflect and go deeper on the meaning and message of Christmas than ever before. Those Christmases–God can redeem those, even though they’re difficult, and He can use them to draw closer to Him.”

Max’s latest book, Because of Bethlehem, delves into the many ways that Christ’s physical birth and earthly life can help us more deeply know and understand God:

“One of the purposes of the Incarnation is to encourage me to pray. To say, “OK, God understands. He understands what it’s like.’

Hebrews 5:14 reminds us that,

“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

The miracle of God being with us in human form demonstrates how clearly He wanted us to know Him:

“Because He became flesh, I have confidence that He understands. Had He never become flesh, I think I still would know that He would hear my prayer,  but I may wonder if He thinks, ‘Get over it, Lucado! It’s not that big of a deal.'”

But since He has felt that, been here, lived on the earth, and experienced everything that I experience–just without sin–then He understands. And it causes me to pray with more confidence, more boldness, and more peace.”

Max Lucado has accomplished more than most writers hope for in a lifetime. Most of his books have appeared on one or more best seller lists. Max Lucado is also the senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.

Max Lucado, Because of Bethlehem.