If you've ever read any of Max Lucado's books, you are either a fan of his narrative style or have a desire "for something more." His latest work, "For The Tough Times," contains that very same approach, which some will draw great encouragement from while others will feel a sense of disappointment about. Given the book's intention of comforting the discouraged through a greater perspective via God, this tension is quite ironic.
Nonetheless, Lucado successfully does what he does best. Within the pages of this short collection (drawing on four others of Lucado's works) are some simple-yet-powerful thoughts for those feeling hopeless. Moving beyond the normal bullet points, the author has a strikingly backdoor way of nudging his thoughts forward. He asks questions where some may be tempted to give quick answers; and likewise, he offers perspective when it would be easy to offer a cliche.
The time is right for us to have something like this to read. While it isn't a solid Bible study, it is solid thought that is rooted in Scripture. His chapters are chunky enough for the 80 page book, but perhaps its size does limit some of the thoughts I'd hope he'd add on. While "God is for you," that doesn't mean He is for your choices. Given the book's quick-read make-up, many casual readers may assume nothing needs to change in their lives to experience God's favor.
Nonetheless, if you'd like something to put on your coffee table that will inspire anyone picking it up for a chapter or two, this is a safe bet.