When you hear the word “happiness” what do you think of? Do you think about people with a white picket fence with a house full of kids and happiness? Or do you think of something else? For most of us we would naturally tend to think of the first example, namely that of a happy family celebrating together around a fireplace and perhaps enjoying a movie or just time together. Whether it’s the examples I’ve just described or others, we need to radical refocus our understanding of happiness around the Word of God. This is especially so, since we are inundated by a 24/7 news cycle that promotes nothing but the bad news of our world. Yes, we need to know what is going in our world, but even more, as Dr. David Murray shows in The Happy Christian Ten Ways To Be A Joyful Believer In a Gloomy World, we need to refocus our lives on God and His Word. Only there will we find true happiness.
The Happy Christian is a game changing book. First, The Happy Christian is a call to realign our lives on God and His Word. We live in a world that promotes the bad news going on in our world to the neglect often times of the good that people are doing by God’s grace. Second, Dr. Murray’s book is a worldview changer. Since Dr. Murray’s book reorients our lives around the Word it will help renew our minds by the power of the Word. Very few books that you read combine excellence in engagement with the Word with focusing on how to apply what they’re saying to our lives. The Happy Christian is such a book. This book is grounded in the Word and will help every Christian at every stage of their growth in Christ to grow in their knowledge, understanding, and application of the work of God’s sovereign grace. Finally, this book is easy to digest. One could ready through this book very quickly. I encourage you to read it slowly and digest it. Let this book affect you deeply. Let the truths Dr. Murray explains pour into your pores and affect every area of your life. In doing so, I assure you—you won’t be the same and that is the point. Dr. Murray has written a life-transforming book that is fueled by the truth of the Word that will help you to reorient your life around the Word. While this book is not the Bible, it does explain the truth of the Bible. Therefore, the message of this book I pray will be pleasing in the sight of the Lord, that He might use it powerfully and wonderfully, all for the praise of His name.
Dr. Murray’s ten points are easy to understand. Each point is structured around the overarching idea of happiness. To this end he explores happy facts, media, salvation, church, future, world, praise, giving, work, and differences. This is why I said earlier this is a book that seeks to change our lives by first renewing our minds in the Word. The outgrowth of this is that it will change our outlook and thus our worldview. I especially enjoyed chapter two on media, chapter seven on praise, and chapter nine on work. Chapter two was helpful because many people often give themselves whole heartedly to watching the news and or the latest TV shows. One thing that stood out in this chapter was Dr. Murray’s discussion about viewing the news all the time. His point is that we need to be careful how much we watch the news since so much of it is negative and promotes violence. Chapter seven includes very helpful points about the purpose of our praising God as does chapter nine on how and why we work.
Wherever you’re at in your Christian life, The Happy Christian has something for you. First, this book will help you to focus more on God and less on yourselves. Second, this book will help you to think on what is true, noble, and good from God in His Word and less on your circumstances and problems. Finally, this excellent book will help readers to grow to be not only happy in Christ but healthy in Christ. Many of us have an overwhelming sense of guilt, and shame and carry it around like it’s a badge of honor. It’s time to throw that type of Christianity off and embrace New Testament Christianity that emphasizes what Christ had done to win so great a salvation for us. That truth alone should lead us to live happy and productive lives in Christ to the glory of Christ.
This book would be excellent for the new Christian on up to the most seasoned scholar of God’s Word. At every stage Dr. Murray explains helpful points the reader to the finished work of Christ. This book will help those struggling with depression, shame, guilt, and more to reorient their lives around the Word of God. As Christians we’re called to be Bereans. Dr. Murray takes readers into the Word and points to its author—God! As he does, he unfolds the Scriptural truths on happiness and life in Christ. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord will powerfully use it in reader’s lives to change the way they think so that their lives will be transformed and renewed in and by Christ.
Authors: Dr. David Murray
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2015)
I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson for this review. 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.”