One of my favorite books is a little paperback by Hannah Whittall Smith called “The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life.” Now there is a title! There are many excellent summaries available that I have given links to at the bottom of this post, but I would encourage you to make the time and read the book. It is free and you can access it here or on the Christian Ethereal Classic Library (This is an excellent resource where you can find many classics to read online.)
I love this description of the book from one of the many editions of the book.
“IS YOUR LIFE ALL YOU WANT IT TO BE? Hannah Whitall Smith–Quaker, rebel, realist–faced life as she found it, and she found it good. She took her Bible promises literally, tested them, and found them true as tested steel. She stepped out of conjecture into certainty, and the shadows disappeared. Here she reveals the secret–how to make unhappiness and uncertainty give way to serenity and confidence in every day of your life.” — from the Spire edition.
Here is the preface and table of contents to get you interested. The book was written in 1875 and originally was a series of newspaper articles for her husband’s newspaper. Like many authors there is controversy about her writings and her life but this book has encouraged many people over the years. Billy Graham endorsed this book and gave it out at many of his crusades. I pray that you will enjoy the encouragement
THE CHRISTIAN’S SECRET OF A HAPPY LIFE By Hannah Whitall Smith
This is not a theological book. I frankly confess I have not been trained in theological schools, and do not understand their methods nor their terms. But the Lord has taught me experimentally and practically certain lessons out of his Word, which have greatly helped me in my Christian life, and have made it a very happy one. And I want to tell my secret, in the best way I can, in order that some others may be helped into a happy
I do not seek to change the theological views of a single individual. I dare say most of my readers know far more about theology than I do myself, and perhaps may discover abundance of what will seem to be theological mistakes. But let me ask that these may be overlooked, and that my reader will try, instead, to get at the experimental point of that which I have tried to say, and if that is practical and helpful, forgive the blundering way in which it is expressed. I have tried to reach the absolute truth which lies at the foundation of all “creeds” and “views,” and to bring the soul into those personal relations with God which must exist alike in every form of religion, let the expression of them differ as they may.
I have committed my book to the Lord, and have asked Him to counteract all in it that is wrong, and to let only that which is true find entrance into any heart. It is sent out in tender sympathy and yearning love for all the struggling, weary ones in the Church of Christ, and its message goes right from my heart to theirs. I have given the best I have, and could do no more. May the blessed Holy Spirit use it to teach some of my readers
the true secret of a happy life! HANNAH WHITALL
Chapter 1 Introductory. — God’s Side and Man’s Side
Chapter 2 The Scripturalness of This Life
Chapter 3 The Life Defined
Chapter 4 How To Enter In
Chapter 5 Difficulties Concerning Consecration
Chapter 6 Difficulties Concerning Faith
Chapter 7 Difficulties Concerning The Will
Chapter 8 Is God in Everything?
Chapter 9 Growth
Chapter 10 Service
Chapter 11 Difficulties Concerning Guidance
Chapter 12 Concerning Temptation
Chapter 13 Failures
Chapter 14 Doubts
Chapter 15 Practical Results
Chapter 16 The Joy of Obedience
Chapter 17 Oneness With Christ
Chapter 18 “Although” and “Yet”
Chapter 19 Kings and Their Kingdoms
Chapter 20 The Chariots of God
Chapter 21 “Without Me Ye Can Do Nothing”
Chapter 22 “God With Us”
You can also listen to it for free at Librivox