Among the top five most influential books in my life is J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. I read it during college 15-ish years ago. Among many other things, it gave me a deeper understanding of who God is, especially His sovereign care, and gospel light to the morbid introspection that would regularly spiral me into a dark depression.
When I heard he passed away today, I went downstairs to our little library and searched the shelves, feeling like I went 15 years back as I handled my worn, much-underlined copy of Knowing God. It was like greeting an old friend, and I found some gems that I underlined in years past:
“The width of our knowledge about him is no gauge of the depth of our knowledge of him.” (p. 39)
“His love for me is utterly realistic, based at every point in prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me…and quench his determination to bless me.” (p. 42)
“In God boundless wisdom and endless power are united, and this makes him utterly worthy of our fullest trust.” (p. 91)
“‘He knows the way he taketh,’ even if for the moment we do not.” (p. 98)
“God makes not only the wrath of man to turn to his praise but the misadventures of Christians too.” (p. 241)
“Think of what you know of God through the gospel, says Paul, and apply it. Think against your feelings; argue yourself out of the gloom they have spread; unmask the unbelief they have nourished; take yourself in hand, talk to yourself, make yourself look up from your problems to the God of the gospel; let evangelical thinking correct emotional thinking.” (p. 260)
“For God justified you with (so to speak) his eyes open. He knew the worst about you at the time when he accepted you for Jesus’ sake; and the verdict which he passed then was, and is, final.” (p. 273)
“Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you.” (p. 275)
I trust God held him fast as both physical blindness and faith finally became glorious sight in the face of his Savior.