June 13, 2016

Book Review: 31 Days to Happiness


31 Days to Happiness: How to Find What Really Matters to Life, by David Jeremiah provides an in-depth look into the life of King Solomon, particularly through the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

In the Preface, on pages xii and xiii, the author shares about King Solomon: "It is not the proverbial Solomon but a weary and despairing one who cries out into the emptiness his questions of passion and pathos....  Yet we need to know this Solomon, for by the grace and wonder of God, his wounds are mingles with wisdom.  His pain is colored by perception.  And not in spite of but because of his suffering--supplemented at the onset by a special gift from God--Solomon becomes known as the wisest man on the face of this earth....  This is not only Solomon's voice; a deeper quieter, yet more powerful breaks through his weariness and desperation."

This thirty-one day study is primarily interspersed with biblical references to Solomon's life and corresponding scripture verses, as well as various historical and current references and quotes.  As a published author and senior pastor, Dr. David Jeremiah has written an intriguing and thought-provoking study of Solomon's life during the Ecclesiastes time period.

The chapters begin with a scripture verse reference, which allows readers the option to read through the biblical book of Ecclesiastes alongside reading 31 Days to Happiness.  In addition to the Introduction and Conclusion, there are thirty-one chapters.  The chapters are titled as the following: Introduction, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Bored to Death, Trivial Pursuits, Careening Careers, Impressions About Life, Insights About God, Read the Instructions, When Justice Isn't Just, From Oppression to Obsession, When 1 + 1 > 2, A God Who Can't Be Used, Governments Never Change, Dollars and Sense, Money Without Meaning, Employment Without Enjoyment, Solomon Answers Your Questions, The Joy of Misery, The Pleasure of Rebuke, The Hard Way Made Easy, Time to Move On, The Perspective of Wisdom, The Power of Wisdom, Hard to Be Humble, Dropping the "D" Word, Life Cheats, Foolishness in Little Things, Foolishness in Leadership, Labor, Language, and Lunacy, Life is Uncertain: Embrace It, Life is Short: Enjoy It, Life is Mysterious: Examine It, and Conclusion: Life Is Obedience: Express It.

As a thirty-one day study, this book is easily adaptable into thirty-one weeks (or more) as an in-depth study guide of Ecclesiastes, which may be utilized by a small group bible study, as well as a personal bible study for individuals.  Also, it's worth reading to simply enjoy and learn about the Bible with the possibility of adapting the learned (or re-learned) biblical values.

On pages 160-161, the author focuses on this theme, by sharing that "God is speaking to us all the time, and He will use whatever megaphone catches our attention....  That is why I firmly believe that your reading of this book, like many of your other experiences, represents a 'message moment' for you.  What you come away with will depend on what you are willing to take seriously about this moment." 

31 Days to Happiness is geared towards all ages, particularly young adults to older generations.


Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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