Excerpts from Chapter 3 of Deserted by God? by Sinclair Ferguson.
Read Psalm 23.
If the Father loves me so much that he did no spare his own Son but delivered him up to be crucified for me, no further guarantee is needed of his wholehearted and permanent commitment to me and my blessing.
Whatever happens to me must be seen in that light. Yes, my deepest fear may become realties. I may not be able to understand what God is doing in or to my life; he may seem to be hiding his face from me; my heart may be broken. But can I not trust the One who demonstrated his love for me? When I was helpless in my sin he sent Christ to die for me (Romans 5:8). If he has done that, will he not work all things together for my good? Will he withhold any thing that is ultimately for the good of those who trust him?
In this way, Christ’s death becomes the rod, the cudgel that breaks the neck of the fears that are the enemies of my peace; his word becomes the staff by which he holds on to me and rescues me from danger.
I can be confident of this: Whatever he sends me will bring me what I need; whatever I need, he will provide; whatever he provides comes marked with the approval of nail-pierced hands. I can trust him.
If the Lord is my shepherd, he will restore me when I fall.
If the Lord is my shepherd, he will surprise me with his grace.
Our natural instinct is to suspect that if he restores us at all it will be grudgingly; it must be a necessary by irritating inconvenience for him.
But Christ does not come to us officiously; he comes to us willingly and graciously to restore us. …The Lord restores us because he means to change us.
Whatever trials the Lord brings us into, he means to show us his presence and glory in a way we could not otherwise learn.
If the Lord is my shepherd, he will be with me now and forever.