Longing for Joy
: An Invitation into the Goodness and Beauty of Life, By Alastair Sterne

Longing for Joy

An Invitation into the Goodness and Beauty of Life

by Alastair Sterne

Longing for Joy
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: October 29, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0898
  • ISBN: 9781514008980

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Can we still have joy in a world of pain and anxiety?

The troubles around us and in our lives lead many of us into a joyless experience where despair and hopelessness are the norm. Yet something within us still longs for a joy that transcends our challenges and gives us meaning and satisfaction.

Alastair Sterne says that our inner longings for joy actually point us to a God of joy who gives us both the capacity for joy and the realities of joyful experience. Sterne explores pathways to joy and why we often experience the absence of joy. He then offers theologically grounded and research-based practices for becoming people of joyful presence. Even if we are not temperamentally happy enthusiasts, we can gradually cultivate the deep abiding joy that we were created for and that enriches the world around us.

"In this book of joy, Alastair effortlessly—and frequently — dances between theology and culture, persuader and artist, poet and pragmatist to make this point clear: joy is available for all who seek."

AJ Sherill, Anglican priest and author of Being With God: The Absurdity, Necessity, and Neurology of Contemplative Prayer

"If you want joy, cultivate joy. Through rich storytelling and wise teaching, Alastair Sterne is an excellent guide to those cozy rooms, fireside parlors, and old summertime porches in that beautiful place you may have forgotten—the House of Joy."

Mike Mason, author of Champagne for the Soul: Rediscovering God's Gift of Joy

"In his book Longing for Joy, Sterne invites us to encounter a joy that is as robust as it is mysterious, as whimsical as it is accessible, as human as it is divine. With writing that is informed, playful, and full of heart, Sterne weaves together theological thought and personal encounter, creating a hopeful tapestry of aliveness that does not eschew suffering but welcomes it in to feast at joy's table. I can imagine no better guide to joy than this."

Hillary L. McBride, registered psychologist, author, podcaster, and speaker

"Alastair writes with the familiar tone of a friend who eagerly invites us to discover what he already has: joy is different from and so much better than anything we thought it to be. Through masterful storytelling, sage-like insights, and a genuine humility, Alastair has reintroduced me to joy and the face of a happy God who laughs. I am so grateful for that. We need this book and its inspiring manifesto, perhaps now more than ever."

Joshua Luke Smith, poet and author of Something You Once Knew: Waking Up to the Extraordinary in Your Ordinary Life


Introduction: An Invitation

Part I: Longing for Joy
1. Presence
2. Cultivation
3. Absence
4. Joylessness
5. Longing
6. The Lady

Part II: The Story of Joy
7. The Father
8. The Son
9. Crucified
10. Resurrected
11. The Spirit

Part III: The Possibility of Joy
12. A Possibility
13. Home
14. Storytelling
15. Wisdom
16. People
17. Emotion
18. Serve
19. Creation
20. Suffering
21. Gratitudes
22. Time
Epilogue: An Ever-Widening Circle of Joy



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Alastair Sterne

Alastair Sterne (DIS, Fuller Theological Seminary) is a creative director turned pastor. He partnered with Redeemer City to City and founded St. Peter's Fireside, a creative liturgical church in Vancouver. He is the author of Rhythms for Life: Spiritual Practices for Who God Made You to Be. Alastair and his wife, Julia, write and podcast together at ordinarymatters.org and collect joy with their daughters in Victoria, British Columbia.