Thinking Out Loud

October 15, 2018

Joy is Available in All Circumstances: Book Review

by Gloria Matthies

John and Stasi Eldredge are two of my favourite authors, so I was excited when Stasi’s book Defiant Joy – Taking Hold of Hope, Beauty, and Life in a Hurting World (Thomas Nelson) became available. And it didn’t disappoint.

As in much of their other works, Stasi’s style is very readable – personal, authentic, real, relatable. I can see myself in many of her personal anecdotes. We’ve all been there – even accomplished authors!

It wasn’t the kind of book that keeps me reading long past the time I should be making dinner or going to bed. I actually couldn’t read it quickly because, even in its easy readability, there were parts that hit very close to home and I had to stop and mull it over, figure out how to apply it. Even after finishing the book, I find myself flipping back to the dog-eared pages and underlined passages again and again.

Stasi begins by laying the foundation: What is joy? How is it different from happiness? Why does she call it “Defiant”? She asserts – backed up with Scripture – that joy is always available to us in all circumstances, and especially in the really tough ones. She doesn’t shy away from “yes but, what about…” sadness, unmet longing, the waiting, loneliness, opposition, pain, suffering, comparison, resentment, misperceptions – all of which she addresses without judgement but rather with an invitation.

She invites us, dares us even, to step out in faith, to choose, hope, risk, trust, worship, remember God’s promises, in spite of our circumstances. And to be defiantly joyful people!


 

Gloria is co-coordinator of the Better Together Refugee Sponsorship project in Cobourg, Ontario and part time bookseller at the local Christian bookstore.

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1 Comment »

  1. Aah. I knew you couldn’t resist everyday blogging. Cos you know you’ve got stuff to say or things to report and we want to hear them. And you make us think…..

    Might read Stasis book. Been a big problem of mine for a while (Joy). Been thinking of why I can’t feel real joy?? I’m Retired, Enough money, Food Shelter, Holidays etc. People from Yemen (and elsewhere) today would think that i am living the dream and would change their lives for mine immediately.. Feel guilty that I am always moaning and discontent and certainly not joyful. (Anyone else feel that???) Should be so happy in our pampered existence but….
    Anyway Paul. This is why you’re here. To remind us and to talk to us. Like a community. Like a church.
    God Bless

    Comment by Mark Bushell — October 15, 2018 @ 3:11 pm


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