Ben Patterson's He Has Made Me Glad is about the power of joy. Asserting that joy is the natural byproduct of knowing God, Patterson makes a compelling argument.
Pastor, Teacher, Contemplative, Ben Patterson is a regular contributor to Leadership Journal and Chaplain of Westmont College. With the skill of a man learned in the scriptures he leads readers through many scriptures detailing joy and the Christian experience. Revealing his own trials and triumphs, without demeaning readers but coming alongside them as mentor and friend, Patterson's appealing prose is not meant to be rushed through but rather, savored.
Often in the course of this book his provoking thoughts caused me to gaze off into contemplation of what I had just read. This is on the level with Brennan Manning and John Piper, a great fusing of their particular strengths--mystically theological. Where I normally pick up a book and finish it in a day or two tops, this book demanded my attention. I had to engage in Patterson's assertions, and having done so, ventured off into many of my own creative rabbit trails. Weaving poetry, scripture, the works of Christian luminaries such as G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, George Hebert and many others, these pages are packed full of wisdom.
The only blemish was the early synonymous use of happy and joy. Apparently, MŁeller and Charlie Brown have similar diction. Precious few contemporary books are keepers. This one is a keeper. I highly recommend it to contemplatives, mystics and lookers for true joy. -- Suzanne Rae Deshchidn, Christian Book Previews.com
The Christian gospel is about grace.
The Christian life is about gratitude and joy.
Scripture characterizes joy as what you experience when you are grateful for the grace that's been given you. But joy is not simply described in the Bible; it is prescribed. We are called to be joyful, to give thanks in all circumstances, to embrace grace.
Still, there's plenty going on in the world and in our own lives to make joy seem impractical, gratitude unnecessary and grace perplexing. We who have been given every reason to be joyful can nevertheless be joyless. How can we begin to live in the truth that our God has made us to be glad?
With gleeful exuberance, Ben Patterson submits his compelling case for joy. His winsome stories and thoughtful reflections show how even traditional disciplines such as (yawn) churchgoing and (gulp!) tithing can be hilariously fulfilling when lived out of gratitude for God's gracious gifts.
Once we start to think about all that God has done for us, our thoughts turn inevitably to gratitude and ultimately to gladness. And that is only appropriate, for he has made us to be glad.