J.I. Packer argues that for Christians, weakness should be a way of life. Yet many believers desperately try to be self-sufficient, resenting their needs and limitations. Reflecting on his own life experiences of frailty—having been hit by a truck at a young age and now facing the realities of aging—Packer teaches the importance of embracing frailty, and looking to Christ for strength, affirmation, and contentment. Find here a path from discouragement to freedom in light of our all-sufficient God.
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“The truth, however, is that in many respects, and certainly in spiritual matters, we are all weak and inadequate, and we need to face it. Sin, which disrupts all relationships, has disabled us all across the board. We need to be aware of our limitations and to let this awareness work in us humility and self-distrust, and a realization of our helplessness on our own. Thus we may learn our need to depend on Christ, our Savior and Lord, at every turn of the road, to practice that dependence as one of the constant habits of our heart, and hereby to discover what Paul discovered before us: ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor. 12:10).” (Pages 15–16)
“Is this a major motive in our own lives, I wonder: always and under all circumstances to please our Lord and Savior?” (Page 31)
“he wanted to counter the influence of the intruders who sought to turn the Corinthians against him” (Page 20)
“When the world tells us, as it does, that everyone has a right to a life that is easy, comfortable, and relatively pain-free, a life that enables us to discover, display, and deploy all the strengths that are latent within us, the world twists the truth right out of shape.” (Page 53)
“Why were these exhortations necessary? Answer: to banish, if possible, the sense of weakness that was there before.” (Page 13)
If you, like me, struggle with discouragement over your weaknesses, you need to read this book. We all long to be admired for our strengths, yet we all find ourselves, ‘beset with weakness’ (Heb. 5:2). Does this mean we’re stuck living with discouragement? No! There is an escape to joyful freedom. Dr. Packer knows the way. Walking us through 2 Corinthians, he shows it to us so that we, like Paul, can ‘boast all the more gladly of [our] weaknesses.
—Jon Bloom, president, Desiring God Ministries
J. I. Packer (1926–2020) is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He was Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and his writings include books such as Knowing God, A Quest for Godliness, Growing in Christ (Crossway) and Rediscovering Holiness. He preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America and served as general editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible published in 2001, and theological editor of the Study Bible version. In 2014, Packer was named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores. He was a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today and wrote numerous articles published in journals such as Churchman, SouthWestern Journal, Reformation Revival Journal and Touchstone. He received a BA, MA and PhD from Oxford University.