Thrilled Hearts

“Knowing God is a relationship calculated to thrill a man’s heart.” (JI Packer)

The definition of thrill(ed) is “to cause (someone) to have a sudden feeling excitement and pleasure.”

Thrilled is an English word that is used far too often, far too causally, and far too flippantly. It’s the same with awesome, which we use around the clock about things that, in its purest form, aren’t awesome.

The late Packer, in the above quote, makes use of this oft-repeated word. I think it would serve us well to look deeper into it. Christian, you must consistently ask yourself this question: Does God thrill your heart?

Does it bring excitement or pleasure to your heart—the center of your desires and affections—to know the one true God? Are you simply giddy when praying or talking about God? I know we will not feel this way much of the time—and that’s the problem. The problem is not with God, but us. Sin has so saturated our wills that we are not always bursting with excitement to commune with God.

Knowing God should perpetually thrill our hearts. And when our hearts aren’t thrilled, what should we do?


This may seem like a simple “fix” to a substantial problem, but when we understand how God uses prayer, it most certainly is not. Are you finding yourself less thrilled about God than you were before? Get on your knees and pray. Pray for God to light a fire, so to speak, in your heart. Ask Him to rekindle the excitement in your heart of knowing Him!

And when it hasn’t happen yet, continue to pray. Keep praying. Don’t give up, don’t let go. Don’t become complacent. When the fire of excitement for God is becoming weak, pour the gasoline of prayer on it until its flames get bigger.


We’ve all gone through the unpleasant reality of sickness—definitely with the last year and a half of COVID. When you have gotten sick all night and are dehydrated—you know you need to eat and drink something to make you better, but it’s simply difficult.

So, you take baby steps. You nibble on a saltine and take a few sips of Gatorade to get something in your system. And, eventually, those bites become bigger and sips turn into gulps.

The same is true with our intake of Scripture. When our bones are spiritually dry, when we admittedly don’t have a big appetite for the Bible, what do we do? Do we simply not read and hope for the best? No, of course not. We should “nibble” on Scripture—just read bits and pieces to whet your appetite. Eventually, you will have a bigger hunger for God’s Word again.

This is what we must do when our hearts aren’t thrilled by God.

Are You Thrilled?

Friend, knowing the God of the universe should thrill our hearts! Our hearts should take immense pleasure in knowing our Father who has adopted us into his family because, as Packer also famously said, “the highest privilege of the gospel.”

If you’re hearts aren’t thrilled, ask God to thrill you once more.

Enjoy my writing? Grab a copy of my new book Gospel Smugness: Displaying Christlike Character in Evangelism.

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