I received a copy of Joyce Meyer : a life of redemption and destiny by Richard Young (Whitaker House, 2009) as a Christmas present. Having heard a number of Joyce Meyer messages, I was already familiar with Joyce’s background as she often uses stories from her own life to illustrate her points. However it was interesting to read her life story chronologically and from a third party perspective.

Joyce’s transformation from a single mother to Bible teacher is remarkable whatever you may think of her theology. Her background gives no clue that she would become such a popular speaker and it is her honesty about these struggles that seems to attract people to her ministry.

One part of her ministry I was less familiar with was Hand of Hope. This is a ministry to the poor and needy all over the world. The statistics are impressive with 82% of the income from Joyce Meyer Ministries being used to help others.

Towards the end of the book Richard Young gives an account of the newspaper reports which aimed to discredit her ministry by focusing on her lifestyle. Being a prominent Christian figure it is natural she is going to attract criticism and Young does a good job of writing a balanced view. Finally he discusses the amazing reconciliation that took place between Joyce and the father who abused her so much as a child.

Overall it is a remarkable account on what God can do with a life committed to him.