Book review: Great Joy (J I Packer)

Title: Great Joy

Author: J I Packer

Publisher: Kingsway Publications

This book is a 31-day devotional. It tries to explain what is joy, how sin removes joy from our life, the source of joy, how to have joy in the midst of suffering, and so on. There are 31 articles on the theme of joy, extracted from various sources previously written by J I Packer. The articles are short and direct to the point.

I think the most insightful articles are those on how we can have joy in the midst of suffering. For most people, joy and suffering do not sound like a good match for each other. The articles remind me that in the midst of our suffering, God does not abandon us, and our suffering can glorify God. The author cited the example of Paul singing hymns in the prison despite after flogging, and explained how we can have the same kind of joy Paul had when we are suffering from some bad things.

“Joy, in the full Christian sense of the word, is a supreme content, a supreme peace, a supreme concentration on the source of joy, and a supreme happiness at the way things are for one.”

PS: I received this book from the church. I have not received any form of compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the publisher or author mentioned in the post.


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