In our fast-paced world, it can be hard to have joy in the Lord. Between distractions, duties, and responsibilities each one of us have, joy seems to be low on the list. Sometimes it seems to me like joy is fleeting. In The Secret of Spiritual Joy by William P. Farley, the author helps us understand that joy is not a duty, it’s a delight. The author says, “joy is something we are commanded to do. It is also something we experience. It is a fruit of the spirit. Like happiness, joy can refer to positive feelings flowing from pleasant circumstances but it can also refer to a deep-down-inside, quiet, settled conviction that all is well even when circumstances are horrendous” (5).
In his book, the author looks at speaking the language of humility, celebrating a sovereign and good God, getting a grip on grumbling, striking back at self-pity, and the secret of spiritual joy. These five chapters are easy to read and understand. Whether you are a new or seasoned Christian, Farley has much to offer in terms of biblical and practical counsel on the nature and purpose of joy in the Christian life.
As I read this book, I was helped. It’s so easy to get so busy with a variety of ministry responsibilities that I forget that the joy offered to me in Jesus is available freely. Instead of taking advantage of it early and often, I tend to become overly focused on my circumstances. Yet, when we focus too much on our circumstances, we take our eyes off of Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
To know Jesus is to know joy. In chapter five the author notes, “God motivates the saints by convincing us that both his person and his commands exist for our ultimate good. This is the faith-conviction that ultimately conquers worldly temptation. To the degree that each believer is really convinced that his ultimate happiness is intimately bound up in knowing and obeying Jesus Christ, he will pursue God and obey him” (79).
The final chapter of this book is the most helpful. Here the author looks at humility, meekness, contentment, worship, intercession, fear of the future, relationships, and joy. He does this with a goal to help readers understand how to have gratitude to God so they can grow to be like Jesus.
Maybe today you are like me. You tend to focus way too much on your circumstances and forget to look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. The Secret of Spiritual Joy William P. Farley is a biblical and practical book that will help Christians learn the nature and purpose of joy in the Lord. This book is ideal for the mom with kids to the busy man working a lot.
Wherever we are at in life, every Christian needs to be reminded that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Reading this book will go a long way to helping Christians understand the joy that is available to them. I encourage you to read this book and be encouraged that Jesus is there, that He cares, and that His joy is real and available to you now through Christ.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.