Devotional Review: 60 Days of Happiness by Randy Alcorn

60-days-of-happiness60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy
by Randy Alcorn

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Would you like to experience true happiness?When it comes to happiness, most of us have the same questions. Why can’t I be consistently happy? Is it wrong to be happy when there are so much pain and suffering in the world? And perhaps the biggest one: How can I be happier? Some Christians make an artificial contrast between joy and happiness, while others claim God wants us to be holy, but not happy. In fact, he wants us to be both, and the two go hand in hand! In “60 Days of Happiness,” noted theologian and “New York Times” bestselling author Randy Alcorn shares sixty timeless devotions demonstrating that God not only wants us to be happy in him and enjoy his gifts, he commands and empowers us to do so.

My Review:

3 of 5 Stars

I’ve been on the search for a devotional that fits my needs for a while and I was really hopeful with this one. I like the premise of it, the desire to be happy, but didn’t connect with it on a personal level. Perhaps because I’ve always been fairly vocal about my mental health issues I’ve not experienced a church setting that viewed happiness as somehow ‘not-Christian’. If anything I’ve witnessed the opposite, the forced smile and put together attitude that is usually fake and shallow. While I didn’t connect on this, what bothered me more was the emphasis put around “if you’ve accepted the good news of Christ, how can you not be happy?”. I agree with this in a way for new Christians because it’s fresh and everything is bright and shiny. I’ll even acknowledge that for some, this is probably true and works well for them. This just isn’t the case for me, and I don’t think it’s natural to be happy during tough circumstances. I think faith and a belief in something bigger than yourself can give you courage and peace in the face of struggle and hardship but I question if happy is perhaps the wrong thing to strive for in certain circumstances.

For example, I want to accept and find peace with my chronic health issues which have caused me to become and stay disabled and unable to work a regular job. Most of the time I think I have this though I admit I have days when I’m frustrated. It’s possible that our hardships can be turned into blessings but does that mean we should be happy about them? Through this devotional, I yearned for some mention of bigger issues that get in the way of happiness.

My own faith has been largely centered around healing through ministries like Celebrate Recovery. I also focus my worship and time with God on building a relationship with Him and addressing all emotions that come up instead of striving for something specific. Of course, I desire happiness in my life and many decisions I make have that in mind but I need something more in a devotional.

While this didn’t connect with me and I sometimes disagreed with some of it in terms of my own life, it’s incredibly well written. I love the feel of the book and the simplistic style of the cover and think it will work for others much more than it did for me. I encourage you to try it if it sounds interesting. I’m still on my search for the ideal devotional, if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below!

Thank you to Tyndale for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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