2017 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist (Christian Living category)
Christians are supposed to be happy. In fact, we are supposed to radiate joy, peace, and contentment that is so unmistakable and so attractive that others are naturally drawn to us because they want what we have. And yet, in today's culture, the vast majority of Christians are perceived as angry, judgmental people who don't seem to derive any joy from life whatsoever. So why aren't we happy?
Unfortunately, many Christians are taught early on that God doesn't want us to be happy (he wants us to be holy). In fact, many Christians are laboring under the false notion that God himself is not happy. But nothing could be further from the truth! God does want us to be happy. The Bible is filled with verses that prove that ours is a happy, joy-filled God who not only loves celebrations but also desperately wants his children to be happy. Why else would He go to the lengths He did to ensure our eternal happiness in His presence? We know that we will experience unimaginable joy and happiness in Heaven, but that doesn't mean we can't also experience joy and happiness here on earth.
In Happiness, noted theologian Randy Alcorn dispels centuries of misconceptions about happiness and provides indisputable proof that God not only wants us to be happy, He commands it. The most definitive study on the subject of happiness to date, this book is a paradigm-shifting wake-up call for the church and Christians everywhere.
Alcorn (Heaven), director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, serves as a guide on the road toward true happiness and fulfillment in this hefty but appealing tome. He examines the life of Jesus for clues regarding how to lead a truly happy life. Transcending oneself to serve others plays a key role in his version of obtaining happiness, but Alcorn refreshingly wants to shift the focus of religion away from pure duty and obligation. Christians should observe the gospel through the happiness of their lives, he explains, not just the deeds they accomplish or the acts they avoid. One step in this direction is to eradicate the myth perpetrated by many Christians that emotion is bad. Alcorn attempts to diminish the divide between sacred and secular that's found in certain strains of Christianity. His approach is progressive in many ways, but when discussing marriage and homosexuality, Alcorn checks in as a traditionally conservative Christian. Still, Christian readers of all kinds may find that happiness is not as elusive as they once thought.