Joy is a popular subject in Western culture today, but few seem to experience it. In Can I Have Joy in My Life? Dr. R.C. Sproul notes that part of the problem stems from the fact that we often confuse joy with happiness. He explains, however, that joy goes deeper than happiness, for joy is built on the foundation of the Christian's relationship to God in Christ. As a Christian abides in Christ he can experience joy even amid unhappy circumstances such as sorrow and grief. Can I Have Joy in My Life? cuts through the confusion surrounding this attribute, showing the one sure path to deep, lasting joy.
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Review 1 for Can I Have Joy in My Life?
Date:July 12, 2014
The distinction between happiness and joy seems to be talked about in many Christian circles today, particularly in the midst of difficult and worrisome times. Sproul spends the majority of the book referencing scripture to support lasting joy in one’s life.
From the start, he admits that culture has impacted society’s view of real joy. Too many people seek happiness – a fleeting emotion – rather than joy – a lasting and fulfilling state of mind. He details passages from the books of John, Romans, Philippians, and James. Joy should not be dependent on our circumstances, but rather the source of our confidence. Throughout scripture, we are commanded to make our focus Christ.
I thoroughly enjoyed the instances he dissected specific words in the scripture passages. For example, he explains the word “blessed” as the following: “communicates not only the idea of happiness but also profound peace, comfort, stability, and great joy.” Similarly, he describes the “trials as joy” passage in James to more accurately reflect the idea of “reckoning, considering, or deeming.” Scripture is clear that believers will inevitably face trials of many kinds. The only option to survive these trials is to put our confidence in Christ and receive the satisfying joy he provides.
He briefly touches on the opponents of our joy. He emphasizes the fact that God will never leave us nor forsake us, the victory is already ours, and eternity is our end goal.
I believe many non-believers would scoff at this book as the core is surrounded by Scripture. It seems to be a fabulous resource to reorient one’s focus to Christ and develop a biblical understanding of joy.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”