A Book Review of
The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life,
by Hannah Whithall Smith.
“A life hid with Christ is an entire surrender to the Lord, and a perfect trust in Him, resulting in victory over sin, and inward rest of soul.”
Dear Christian, do you feel a lack in your Christian walk? Do you read about the Christian life and know what this life should look like, but find it wanting when you examine your own life? Has your heart sunk within you as you feel that the best you can expect from your Christian life is one of alternate failure and victory?
This recent read has proved most helpful and inspiring. It was written around 1890 and yet is so relevant to the Christian of today. For example, I’ll quote from an early chapter: “The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self; the most difficult thing we have to manage is self. Our own daily living, our frames and feeling, our especial weaknesses and temptations, our peculiar temperaments, our inward affairs of every kind, —these are the things that perplex and worry us…that bring us most frequently into bondage and darkness. In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself.”
Each chapter dealt with a different aspect of our Christian walk so practically that it was slow moving through the text as I found much helpful information and wanted to learn the lessons well. This book helped me to see the tremendous love of the Father for His children. One great lesson I learned was to realize and to see that ALL the events of my life have been ordained by my loving Father in heaven. “Godwas in everything; and to her henceforth there were no second causes. She saw that her life came to her, day by day and hour by hour, directly from the hand of God, let the agencies which should seem to control it be what they might. And never again had she found any difficulty in an abiding consent to His will, and an unwavering trust in His care.”
Another great lesson taught in this book is that of the “human bottles” in our life that hold the “medicine given to us by the Great Physician Who is seeking to heal all our spiritual diseases.” It helped me to see that the people in my life are often used of God to round out the rough edges in me; and to point out the areas in my life where I must allow the Holy Spirit to work.
Also, the lesson of joyfully submitting to God’s plan for your life was well illustrated and taught. “What wife could endure it, if her husband should use toward her the language that Christians are continually using toward the Lord; if he should say, for instance, every morning, as he went out to business, ‘I am going to work for you today, but I wish you to know that it is a very great cross, and I hardly know how to bear it.’” What a lesson we should learn about the goodness of God and His plan for us. “Could we but for one moment get a glimpse into the mighty depths of His love, our hearts would spring out to meet His will and embrace it as our richest treasure; and we would abandon ourselves to it with an enthusiasm of gratitude and joy, that such a wondrous privilege could be ours.”
Dear Friend, we have Christ in us as we walk this Christian way. We have been freed from the power of sin and the guilt thereof. The life we are living is to be abundant, full of life, and free from oppression. Don’t let satan and his lies rob you of the blessed life in Christ. Reading this book helps you to clearly see some of satan’s tactics and the battle that Self presents in your daily walk. I highly recommend this book. It is in the non-fiction section of our library in the 240s.
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Three of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife for over 30 years.