How Joyful People Think: 8 Ways of Thinking That Lead to a Better Life

By Jamie Rasmussen

The pursuit of happiness…

In this world, it seems like everyone is always on the hunt to find “happy.” We hear, Are you happy? Does this make you happy? Oh, I’m so just happy! Everybody wants to be happy but the reality is happiness comes and goes. Like building a beautiful sandcastle on the seashore, you’ll experience it for a short time but then it will wash away.

Happiness, in its essence, is temporary, easy to come by and cultivated by worldly things, thoughts or desires. Conversely, joy can be challenging to accept and adapt to our life, yet, also full of authentic contentment and eternally gratifying because it is a part of our soul; it is how we were made. Joy was created to be a feeling we feel, but like all things in this fallen world, joy was broken and has been attempted to be pieced back together in the cracked appearance of happiness. As a result, we are constantly battling the “glass half full versus glass half empty mentality.”

This is the concept behind the book, How Joyful People Think: 8 Ways of Thinking that Lead to a Better Life by Jamie Rasmussen. Inspired by Philippians 4:8, which states in the Amplified Translation:

“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”

I was grateful for the opportunity to read this book not just for the topic that is desperately in pursuit in today’s culture, but also because the author was my pastor during the years I lived in Scottsdale, AZ and attended Scottsdale Bible Church. Reading a book written by someone I know made the content that much more real, true, and applicable. Jamie is very vulnerable and authentic in his teaching and pastoring and that gift shines through on the pages of this book.

While encouraging the reader to choose joy, Jamie challenges fellow Christians to allow our personal circumstances the opportunity to intersect with God’s transcendent reality (based on His promises). Meaning, God promises us His presence when we experience tough times as well as His purpose in the trials we may face and His Spirit’s power to endure and persevere when we feel like we’re about to break. If we can choose to accept joy and the fruit of the Spirit, we can fully experience the power of the biblical “whatever” to conquer a world that looks for anything to fill it up only to be left empty when thirst is waiting to be quenched…again, and again, and again.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for hope and encouragement in a constantly depressing and disappointing world. The reality we all face is the pursuit of happiness is nonexistent in this world because we were made to experience a life of joy in a different world, in eternity with our Creator. However, if we seek the way of the Spirit and apply the truth in Philippians 4:8, our life perspectives will bring us peace, contentment and fulfillment. Our perspective in life about life will directly impact our life and the lives of those around us.

This is how joyful people think.

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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