“There is no one like the God of Jerusalem, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33: 26-27).

J.I. Packer insists in his book Knowing God that the study of who God is and how we can grow to know Him is a highly relevant and practical pursuit in our lives. Here is an illustration: Suppose we were to fly a tribesman from the Amazon to London and simply drop him in Trafalgar Square, this man with no knowledge of the language or how to survive in England. Leaving him to fend for himself would be cruel. “So we are cruel to ourselves,” Packer writes, “if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place…for those who do not know about God.”

Charles Spurgeon preached that the study of God humbles and expands our minds and souls. He says that in contemplating Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we find a balm for our souls and comfort in our grief. He asks, “Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in His immensity and you’ll come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know of nothing else that can so comfort the soul.” As we study the scriptures and learn more about God’s holiness and love, the more we will see from his perspective all that assaults us, all that weighs us down, all that tears apart our lives. J.I. Packer says that as we gain an understanding of God’s power and grace, this realization humbles us, encourages us, and reassures us. We contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in our Lord Jesus Christ. As our knowledge of God increases, so does our peace, our strength, our joy.

Adapted from One Year Book of Encouragement