William P. Farley

The Secret of Spiritual Joy

Paperback, Three Ebook Formats
(3 customer reviews)

There really is a guaranteed path to greater joy.

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The Secret of Spiritual Joy, by William P. Farley

“Oh, what biblical wisdom is contained in this brief book.”–Bruce A. Ware (Chairman, Department of Christian Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

At one time or another, most Christians struggle with depression, discouragement, or despondency. When this happens, spiritual joy is the great need. William Farley has written a practical book to help flawed human beings discover and implement the secret to spiritual joy.

The author contends that the gospel is the key to a life overflowing with joy. That is because a right understanding of the gospel produces the humility that motivates a life of continual thanksgiving. A heart humbled by the gospel is the well from which stressed believers can draw the gratitude that generates spiritual joy.

This book also examines common joy-killers like grumbling, complaining, boasting, and self-pity, and provides practical suggestions for conquering them. Such attitudes cannot co-exist in a heart saturated with gospel-gratitude. Ultimately, a clear grasp of the cross is the secret to spiritual joy.


Bill was converted to Christ while doing graduate studies at Gonzaga University in 1971. He worked for 25 years in the business world before retiring from his business in 1999 to pursue full-time ministry. In 2002 he became the senior pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship in Spokane, Washington. He is the author of For His Glory, (Pinnacle, 1998) Outrageous Mercy (Baker Books, 2004, republished by (P&R 2009), Gospel Powered Parenting, P&R 2009), and Gospel Powered Humility (P&R Sept 2011), and Hidden in the Gospel (P&R Feb 2014). Bill and his wife, Judy, live in Spokane, Washington. They have five children and twenty grandchildren.


“One always reads ‘the secret of…’ with some degree of incredulity. Is there really one thing, above all else, that can be demonstrated to be the secret? In this instance Bill Farley has made his case and it is compelling. Oh, what biblical wisdom is contained in this brief book, wrapped in engrossing historical and contemporaries stories that illustrate beautifully the richness of that biblical truth. Reading this book has given me greater earnestness to pursue the path of joy Farley has here mapped so skillfully. May God be pleased to use this book to do the same for innumerable other Christian pilgrims.”
Bruce A. Ware, author; Chairman, Department of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Continuing his explorations of how the biblical gospel both fuels and shapes the cultivation of Christ-like virtues, Bill Farley turns his attention in this volume to the joy that sadly seems to elude so many believers. I especially appreciate how he interweaves solid theology with practical illustrations so that all who read this short but powerful book can emerge with a trustworthy and clear understanding of how to recognize and experience this gracious blessing from the Lord.
Randal Roberts, President and Professor of Spiritual Formation, Western Seminary


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Weight5 oz
Dimensions5.06 × 7.81 in
Imprint or Series

Cruciform Standard


Print / PDF 978-1-941114-14-8
ePub 978-1-941114-16-2
Mobi 978-1-941114-15-5

US List Price

7.50 Ebook, 9.99 Print


93 pages


Paperback, Three Ebook Formats

3 reviews for The Secret of Spiritual Joy

  1. aj

    Please note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest and impartial review.

    William Farley titled his book “The Secret of Spiritual Joy”, a catchy title and yes what he talks about in the book; but it comes out almost immediately that the secret of spiritual joy is simply gratefulness. Throughout the book he challenges his readers to be more grateful and in doing so they will receive many things, including spiritual joy.

    Farley spends the majority of the book explaining that gratefulness is an action that results from understanding who you are: a sinner who has been saved by the work of the cross. His message is centred around the gospel and his writing is practical and designed to help the reader apply the message.

    “The Secret of Spiritual Joy” is a short read, living up to Cruciform Press’s slogan “Books of about 100 pages / clear, inspiring, gospel-centred”. It is an easy read in that it doesn’t require a theology degree to understand. Anyone, of pretty much any age, could pick up this book and read it and understand Farley’s message. However, it is a convicting book. It causes you to think upon your own life and see wonder if you are truly grateful enough.

    There is a lot of benefit to reading this book. I would recommend it specifically if you are someone who doesn’t regularly read Christian books or who finds them daunting. It is short and to the point but still rich in information.

  2. Suzanne

    (I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

    “Thanksgiving is the fountain of contentment and the cure for covetousness.”

    This is a little gem of a book, packed full of convicting truth and practical counsel. Farley walks the reader through understanding that joy is a result of understanding Who God is, who we are, and that we have much to be grateful for. This includes truth about our spiritual nature (before and after Christ’s work in our hearts) and truth about God’s infinite sovereignty and absolute goodness in our everyday lives.

    When I realized that Farley’s prescription for joy was gratitude, I thought, “Of course! I know that.” But as I read on, I found the book to be helpful reminder as the text worked its way through both Biblical examples and deep gospel truths. It’s easy to say that gratitude is the path to joy; the challenge is understanding what this truly means in terms of our view and relationship with God and appropriating this into every big and small circumstances of life.

    I’d recommend this for both new believers and mature believers, especially those who may be struggling with a lack of joy (or feeling stagnate). While there are other books that approach this subject, Farley addresses this issue in deep, yet accessible, terms in just 93 pages. Read it, mark it up, and keep it to pull off the shelf to review as needed!

  3. Aaron Lee

    The Coronavirus pandemic has left many of us disappointed. As I am writing this review, churches have had to close their doors yet again. In this book, William P. Farley shares how gratitude is The Secret of Spiritual Joy.

    Cultivate Gratitude

    In 5 chapters and less than 100 pages, Farley makes a concise case to help us cultivate gratitude in our hearts. He shows us how our creature-hood and redemption should cause us to be humble. And he explains how God’s sovereignty and goodness reach their climax at the cross.

    I was most impacted by Chapter 3: Getting a Grip on Grumbling. Farley recounts Israel’s grumbling and complaining in response to wilderness testing, and I was convicted of my own sin. He revealed how grumbling equates with despising God, that I am accountable to the extent of my privileges, and that grumbling is a heart issue. But he reminds me how God can still use my grumbling for good, to give me a heart of gratitude.

    Spiritual Growth

    The book is filled with stories and real-life examples that help Farley make his points. In Chapter 4: Striking Back at Self-Pity, Farley shares an example of how the cross helped his friend connect the message of the cross from his mind to his heart. To repent and focus on the cross will draw our eyes to eternity and the joy of our gracious God.

    The book ends with a call to spiritual growth in eight areas: (1) humility, (2) meekness, (3) contentment, (4) worship, (5) intercession, (6) fear of the future, (7) relationships, and (8) joy. Gratitude is at the heart of the Christian. This book proves that even in the midst of a pandemic, there is so much to be thankful for.

    I received a media copy of The Secret of Spiritual Joy and this is my honest review.

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