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60 Days of Happiness: Discover God's Promise of Relentless Joy Hardcover – January 4, 2017
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This book challenges a few mindsets that are common in some churches today. Ideas such as, "God wants you to be holy, not happy," or the concept that joy is somehow deep and holy, while happiness is somehow fleeting and secular. There are quite a few more subtle versions of these worldviews like, "God cares more about your holiness than your happiness," or "I may not be happy, but my joy is in the Lord." Randy looks carefully at the Bible and at these ideologies to determine whether or not they are Biblical. He examines Scripture passage after Scripture passage that describe our Lord as cheerful, happy, and joyous among other shining attributes. Readers are asked to examine how they picture Jesus and God in their minds. Do you believe God is a judge waiting for you to mess up? That will affect the way you come to Him, as well as your outlook on life and your happiness. Do you believe God delights in people, creation and the many acts of being God? This will certainly begin to show in how you perceive people, creation and events and circumstances which are beyond your control.
These matters are just the tip of the iceberg. One thing I thoroughly appreciated about Randy's writing in the Heaven book was that he took the time to systematically address readers' potential questions, concerns, or objections regarding the point he was trying to make. While this made for some level of redundancy in a way, it also allows the reader to look at the position from many angles and truly discern whether this is a belief that can stand up to the scrutiny of real life struggles. With a whole book about happiness, one has got to raise the question, "What if I've experienced depression?" This is something I have personal experience with, so I was glad to see the topic was not treated insensitively or omitted.
"Nanci and I give ourselves and each other permission to let unhappiness sink in when we hear bad news. We don't pretend all is unwell when it isn't. But knowing God's commands to rejoice in him and his all-sufficient power to enable us to do so, we meditate on his Word and call on him to impart his gladness. (page 270)
So should we feel guilty for being unhappy, struggling with depression, and being sad at the suffering in our lives and others' lives? No, but we should feel a liberating hope that Jesus, who knows infinitely more about suffering than we do, offers us and calls us to a greater happiness than we've ever known. (page 73)"
On the misbelief that only "holy" things leading to happiness, Randy explains, "If I'm not happy in God when I see a waterfall or hear a great symphony or see a child playing in a mud puddle or watch a dog chasing his tail, then I'll not be happy in God when I attend church, read the Bible or pray. I may congratulate myself for my spirituality when my eyes are on myself rather than on him, but that's being pleased with my supposed piety, not being happy in God." I adore how this author does not mince words.
After I finished reading this, I immediately placed an order for the longer version of the book. One thing I appreciated greatly about his book, Heaven, was that after I had finished reading all of that information and digesting it, I truly did have a different view of Heaven and it brightened my outlook about my time on earth. I think when I read a shorter book, I don't give the concepts enough time in meditation, so they don't always filter down from my head to my heart and become real rooted truths I live from. I'm excited to get the longer version of the Happiness book in the mail soon because I think it will help address some small traces of legalism which have crept into my worldview via religion. On the reading for day 48, the question is "Can feasts and celebrations please God?" While I believe they can and doubted I'd find much food for thought in this selection, I was wrong.
"For many of us, celebrating suffers from guilt by association. The logic goes like this:
• Since immorality is bad, sex is bad.
• Since drunkenness is bad, alcohol is bad.
• Since laziness is bad, rest is bad.
• Since greed is bad, money is bad.
We might as well say that since gluttony is bad, food is bad; and since drowning is bad, water is bad."
Since I am my own worst critic, I feel 'lazy' when I choose to rest and I label myself that way in my head. I also know I do not always view food as objectively as I should since I had an eating disorder in my younger years and struggle with some old thought patterns attempting to rear their ugly heads. I appreciate that this book on happiness is not just a fluffy, unrealistic approach to the topic. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in exploring the topic from a Biblical and practical standpoint.
***In the interest of full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I am not required to give a positive review, my opinions are genuine.
The title of each days devotion is a question concerning happiness and its relation to biblical teaching and the body of each devotion seeks to answer the question put forward. For example the first devotion addresses the question of why everyone wants to be happy and shows that our desire for happiness points us to a desire for something greater namely God himself. Alcorn addresses some of the most important misconceptions surrounding happiness pointing readers to the importance of happiness in the Christian life.
Christianity sometimes gets a bad wrap of being a religion for unhappy cranks. If you know someone who thinks that God wants everyone to be holy and miserable there are few resources out there that will help them understand the biblical nature of happiness more than this devotional. I would commend it to anyone who wants to better understand the biblical truth that God does indeed want us to have joy and happiness in Him.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
By Randy Alcorn
60 Days of Happiness is a devotional that I believe is best fitted for personal use. While you could use this for group study, there is no study questions and the devotionals are straight-forward instruction with the occasional addition of a personal story from the author. However, it is definitely worth adding to your bookshelf for your personal reading.
Each chapter is about 3-5 pages long and contains a verse, quote, devotional, and prayer. Each chapter is entitled with a different question about happiness, which i found to be quite interesting. The devotional themselves are packed with good information and reference listed so you know you’re getting truthful information. Also, I wanted to note that I liked the addition of a quote to each chapter. Verses are a typical addition, but the quote as well was good choice.
I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this honest review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sadly, I found it a bit dry.Read more