It was 25 years ago that I first read Knowing God. For months that year, I was part of an early-morning group of twenty-somethings who met to discuss the book’s next chapter, led by an older, wiser man who’d expound on J.I. Packer’s wise words. I was a new-ish Christian then. In the intervening decades, God has returned me time and again to the foundational truth He taught me in those early years.
He’ll do the same for you. Don’t ever think that any truth learned from your Lord will not be used by Him in your life. Study now — in whatever stage of life you find yourself in — to show yourself approved (2 Tim. 2:15). Whether with a weekly group or by yourself, study to know God. Study to drink in the glorious truth that He knows you.
Words to wow the driest day
Hear some of J.I. Packer’s words — which wowed me decades ago, and still do — and experience the unspeakable comfort that comes from this knowledge: You are graven on the palms of your Lord’s hands.
“What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.
This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort — the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates — in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love, and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and I am glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realise this purpose. We cannot work these thoughts out here, but merely to mention them is enough to show how much it means to know, not merely that we know God, but that He knows us.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, Intervarsity Press, p. 37)