In Secrets to a Happy Life, Bill Giovannetti explored the deeper meaning behind true happiness and the satisfaction of relying on God’s amazing providence. The book enclosed eleven life changing key principles to finding contentment and happiness no matter what trials in life you may have to go through. The book covered the whole Biblical story of Joseph (Genesis 37 through Genesis 50) in vast details from his dim circumstances to his ultimate triumphs leading to God’s glory. Some of the eleven secrets keys to happiness are, “destiny, consistency, loyalty, endurance, trust, identity, surrender, and many more.
As many of us know, Joseph grew up in a dysfunctional family. At seventeen years old, he was instructed to the task of watching his father’s flock. His father loved him the most because he was the youngest son and he had him at an old age. His father gave him a coat of many colors and this made his brothers very angry and they envied him. Joseph was also a dreamer and had many God given dreams about where God would be taking him and he told his brothers that he would rule over them and they resented and hated him. They decided to throw into a bottomless cistern and they destroyed his previous beloved coat. They eventually sold him to a slave trader and killed a goat and put its blood on the coat. They told Jacob the bad news that Joseph must have been attacked by an animal and killed. To say the least very least, Jacob was distraught and sick with grief over losing his son.
Bill explained that Potiphar, the captain of the guards for Pharaoh, purchased Joseph and was his servant. He was put in responsibility of watching the house and everything that Potiphar owned. Joseph had an extreme loyalty to Potiphar and he respected him and God blessed Potiphar’s crops and livestock because of the calling on Joseph’s life. Joseph had a horrible predicament that was about to change his life again for the second time. Joseph was a very attractive young man and Potiphar’s wife began to tempt Joseph sexual. She repeatedly tried to seduce him and ask him to sleep with her. He refused and stated that yes, he was in charge of everything in their household but one aspect was entirely off limits and that his master’s wife. He reminded her that it would be a sin against God but that didn’t stop her. One day, everyone was gone but Joseph and her. She decided to grab his cloak and she commanded and begged him to sleep with her. He ran out and left her the cloak and she accused him of trying to rape her and he was thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Bill pointed out that we can learn from Joseph’s story, the importance of being loyal to God in every area of our lives and this includes our singleness, dating, marriage, parenting, and business. He also noticed that our Mrs. Potiphar can be a number of different things in today’s times. Our Mrs. Potiphar can be cheating on our spouse, being consumed by greed and always wanting more, having to get the next high or buzz from drugs or alcohol, power and having to be the one in control, and sex. Another crucial aspect that Bill observed was God’s loyalty to Joseph just because He loved him. Joseph didn’t have to preform perfect or do anything to earn God’ infinite love. And the same goes for all believers, God graciously gives us grace even though we don’t deserve it and we haven’t earned it nor can we ever earn it.
One of my favorite chapters in this book was entitled, “endurance”. When Joseph was in jail, he wasn’t lured into complaining about his problems and his unfair woes. Joseph spent his time overseeing two other prisoners, the chief butler and the chief baker in prison. It’s viral to recognize that Joseph didn’t stop living his life in prison and he served while waiting on God’s timing. One of my favorite quotes was, “You might be waiting for a marriage proposal, or an operation, or a job offer, or a graduation, or to have kids, or for your kids to move out, or to hear back about the resumes you sent out. Whatever you are waiting for, realize that waiting does not mean slamming on the brakes, stopping cold, or putting your life on hold and licking your wounds” (Page 84). This chapter spoke to me in my time of need, it showed me that while I am personally waiting on God’s timing regarding marriage and having children. I’m supposed to continue living my life as a single young man and serving God and others. I loved how Bill reinstated that God isn’t afraid of time and His time is eternity and complaining won’t help us get there any faster in the here and now.
I would recommend this exceptional book to everyone who is longing for true happiness and fulfilment in our everyday lives. I have learnt that happiness isn’t based on our circumstances, or our adversities occurring in our life, how much money or materials we have, or how our career is going. Happiness is staying content and being joyful despite what is happening in our external surroundings. I immensely enjoying reading this astonishing book and Bill taught be a lot about Joseph that I will admit that I have never saw prior to reading Joseph’s story. I also loved how Bill came up with an analogy and compared Joseph’s life story to dominoes. If you remove one domino they will crash into each other, but together they form a whole giant picture. This is essentially saying that if you remove one part of the story of our lives, you will be missing the massive depiction that God is constructing for His purposes. He is going to use our trials, failures, and successes for His glory, even if we don’t understand right now why we had to go through our adversities. I really liked how Bill didn’t leave out the dreadful raunchy Genesis 38. Bill was very courageous in writing on this topic when most pastors and teachers tend to skip over it when telling the story of Joseph because the story switches to Judah, Onan, and Tamar. This chapter of the Bible is quite graphic so I can see why. But if it’s in the Bible, it is written for a reason. I will confess that this is the first year that I have read this chapter and understood the meaning behind it. Bill did an excellence job at writing the book about Joseph and it is one of the best books that I have read and learnt so much about happiness and being joyful in the mists of our problems.
I immeasurably appreciated the personal stories, he shared that he went through in his own life. Bill revealed that he questioned God and he had trouble praying after he lost his first baby due to a miscarriage. He chose to trust God and surrendered his grief and pain and it took some time. I can’t even began to imagine the heartache He faced and endured. He also had to lean on God when his dad went through his fifth time in battling cancer. Bill knows firsthand how life can get complicated quickly and unexpectedly. I also found the identity chapter to have a number of beneficial reminders of who we are in Christ and how we need to base our self-worth on what Christ has declared over our lives. Each chapter had questions to reflect on and answer that assisted me in comprehending the material. This book taught me how to find happiness, it reminded me of my identity in Christ, and I learnt how to trust in God’s timing, especially when we don’t see any evidence that our dreams will ever come to pass or our situations will change. But even if they don’t, we can still choose happiness and in Heaven, hopefully we will see 20/20 vision of why we had to go through so many difficult things. If you’re looking for a book on how to find true happiness, then read this book! I highly recommend that you get a copy! It’s time for you to find true lasting happiness in Christ Jesus!
“I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Publishers/ Chosen book review bloggers program.”
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