The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World by Lisa Harper | Christian Living Review

The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World by Lisa Harper

Book review disclosure.

Lisa Harper
Christian Living

Imagine hearing your physician tell you that chips and queso contain more nutritional benefits than kale and quinoa.

In her new book, The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World, Lisa Harper unveils a similarly extravagant, unexpected surprise, declaring that happiness is a gift from God that we can unashamedly enjoy.

Wearing the twin hats of both seminarian and belly-laughing adoptive mom, Harper builds upon solid theological scaffolding for happiness in a warm, vignette style. She dismantles the old-school idea that joy, not happiness, is the truly spiritual emotion of the Christian family and asserts that Christ-followers are actually called to happiness . . . to such a deep conviction in the unmitigated goodness of our Creator-Redeemer that we are free to feel and express genuine joy, fulfillment and contentment, regardless of personal and global tumult.

Harper’s personal story includes such happiness killers as sexual abuse, the death of loved ones, and heartbreaking failed adoptions. Yet she writes on themes like:
“The lost sacrament of laughter”
“Happiness is not the absence of sadness”
“Tuning out the Pharisees who try to mute your happiness in the context of spiritual maturity”

This book goes well beneath most people’s surface understanding of happiness, gently guiding readers closer to the heart of God . . . with naturally a few genuine guffaws to enjoy along the way.

My Thoughts

In her newest book, The Sacrament of Happy, Lisa Harper reminds us that happiness isn't the absence of sadness. That thought is kind of mind boggling. How in the world can I be happy in the midst of great sorrow? It has the tendency to seem foreign to us, yet we've all met that rare person that seems to be happy and content in the midst of a great tragedy or an overwhelming sorrow.

As I read through the book and absorbed Lisa's thoughts that are backed up with Scripture it began to make sense. Not only did it make sense but it seemed achievable. Lisa goes on to tell us that happiness can be ours when we remember the fundamental truth that God is and does good. It's what He desires for us. It's what He gives us in the midst of tragedy if we will let Him.

This is a short book, only 10 chapters, but it will make a huge impact on how you think about happiness and where it originates from. We live in a society that tells us that happiness comes from things and experiences. The truth is it comes from the One who made us.

I think this would make a wonderful small group read. Each chapter ends with very thought provoking questions that relate to the chapter's topic. While most of the personal stories obviously have a female feel to them I still think the subject matter would go over well in a mixed small group. 

Connect With The Author

Lisa Harper

Disclosure of materials.

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