Review: Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent by Josh Moody

5 out of 5 Stars
Author: Josh Moody
Publisher: Crossway
Buy Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent
Reading Level: Easy

I’ve been soaking in the Psalms over the last month. Josh Moody has done me no small favor in pointing me to God in the Psalms of Ascent. He makes a point that I hope drives home for you when  you read this book “I believe there is a crying need for people who believe the Bible to feel it . . . . [The Psalms] scare people who wish the Bible said only things that sound pious and nice . . . . They will take your pain, and if you will, they transcend it by means of passion, the suffering of the soul in communion with God” (p. 13).

Josh Moody journeys with us through the Psalms of Ascent. He provides careful exegesis and pastoral care as he unpacks then applies the truths of these Psalms. He explores the gritty reality of living in a fallen world, while always pointing to Christ.

How can Christians believe in the crucifixion of the Son of God if they do not believe that God has a plan for suffering? We worship the king with the crown of thorns, not the golden tiara. (p. 36)

He encourages us to experience life together as the church (pp. 42-43, 157-164). For instance, “[I]n loving each other we resist the hell of individualism” (p. 43). Individualism has rotted much of the doctrine of the American church but the Psalms remedy this in their corporate focus something Josh hones in on.

What I really loved was the constant Godward focus. As the Psalms cover a diversity of topics, Josh does as well but he’s always careful to draw our attention back to God. He’s careful in revealing Christ in the Psalms and reckless when ensuring us that God is faithful to see us through our journey in the world. I love how he ends Journey to Joy:

Is the journey we are on, that is, a pilgrimage with Christ for our companion, with heaven for our goal, with the blessing of God on our lips, and the assurance of God’s blessing in our lives? If it is, rejoice with no disappointment. You have chosen the path less traveled that ends well, and all’s well that ends well. And if that is not the path you are on, then without delay being the journey that ends like this. (p. 174).

If you love expositional, gospel-rich, God-centered reading, then Journey to Joy is for you. If you’re struggling under the burden of this fallen world, then this book is for you. And if you strongly desire to know more of God in the Psalms, then this book is for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent free from Crossway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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