Book Review: The Sacrament of Happy

I received a digital copy of “The Sacrament of Happy” by Lisa Harper through NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions in this review are my own. Affiliate links are included below. Purchasing the book through these links adds no further cost to you, but may give me a small commission.

While reading The Sacrament of Happy: What a smiling God brings to a wounded world by Lisa Harper, I wrote a little note that turned out to be that thing this book made (is making) me wrestle with. I wrote: I’ve been grasping with the idea…the fact that God loves me no matter what. But, I guess, I still thought He loves me, but He’s not always happy with me. Like when we love our family, but doesn’t always like them. Not always happy with them. God will never stop loving me, but He must not always like me, like when I mess up. He must not always be happy with me, right? To think that God actually is always happy with me no matter what…well then!

In her new book, Lisa shares heartfelt stories from her own life about happiness and how it doesn’t just fit in or belong in the Christian life, but that “we’re quite literally called to be happy” (Lisa Harper). Lisa also lays down a Biblical foundation for happiness and challenges readers with question prompts to reflect and think through.

Like Lisa, I was also taught about JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself) vs. happiness. I was taught that joy was eternal and happiness temporary. I was taught that we could never lose joy, but happiness is fleeting. Lisa turns that thinking upside its head in a way that I’m still mulling over.

“Here’s the liberating truth about God being happy with us: it’s not up to us!” – Lisa Harper, The Sacrament of Happy

Can we sit with that for just a few seconds? Happy is like Grace. Just as God’s grace is given to us not because we’re worthy or did anything to deserve it, God is happy with us not because we’re worthy or did anything to deserve it. Is it just me that feels so very free to hear that?!?

The Sacrament of Happy is for anyone who’s ever struggled with happy. What does it mean to be happy? How do we pursue happiness? What does God say about it? How does it fit into the Christian life and the serious Christian doctrines? How do we live in happiness when the world mourns?

I have so many favorite stories from those that Lisa shared in her book, but one of my favorites is when she found out that the Hokey Pokey is a universal favorite children’s song. I won’t spoil the story, but get ready to shed a few tears and then laugh out loud.

The Sacrament of Happy releases on June 1, 2017. It is available to preorder now and I recommend you get it! Part of the proceeds goes towards building a sustainable garden in Neply, Haiti, where Lisa’s oh-so-very-adorable daughter, Missy, was born. Check out Lisa’s IG (@lisadharper) account to keep up with this beautiful momma and daugther. And check out this video from them:


Would you consider buying this book through this Amazon affiliate link? The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper

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