JI Packer on knowing God emotionally

From Knowing God:

[W]e must not lose sight of the fact that knowing God is an emotional relationship, as well as an intellectual and volitional one, and could not indeed be a deep relation between persons were it not so. The believer is, and must be, emotionally involved in the victories and vicissitudes of God’s cause in the world… Believers rejoice when their God is honored and vindicated and feel the acutest distress when they see God flouted. When Barnabas came to Antioch “and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad” (Acts 11:23). By contrast, the psalmist wrote: “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed” (Ps 119:136). Equally, Christians feel shame and grief when convicted of having failed their Lord (see, for instance, Ps 51 and Lk 22:61-62) and from time to time know transports of delight as God brings home to them in one way or another the glory of the everlasting love with which He has been loved (“transported with a joy too great for words” [1 Pet 1:8 NEB]). This is the emotional and experiential side of friendship with God. Ignorance of it argues that, however true a person’s thoughts of God may be, he does not yet know the God of whom he is thinking.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.