Ferguson, Sinclair. Deserted by God? Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1993 (reset using the ESV, 2013). 158 pp. $14.00. Purchase at Westminster Books for less.
Sinclair Ferguson serves as Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC. He also is Professor of Systematic Theology at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, TX. He has written a number of books all of which can be purchased here. I have reviewed his three biographical children’s books of men from the early church. You can read those reviews here.
Divided into eleven chapters, Ferguson looks at the ever pervasive issue of feeling as though God is no longer walking with you even though you are a believer. Chapter one seeks to answer the question “Can anyone help me?” while chapter two looks hard at the next question, “How long must this last, Lord?”
Chapters three through eight look at various trials and tribulations in the life of the believer that leaves him or her feeling alone. In these chapters, Ferguson deals with discouragement, sin, death, depression, and the like. By the time the reader has waded through this middle section of the book, he will begin to understand that he is not the only one who struggles with feelings of isolation and desertion.
The final three chapters teach the reader how to learn contentment and offer an apologetic for the truth that the believer is never deserted by God.
As one who has struggled mightily with isolation and (apparent) desertion by God, Ferguson’s words are a sweet balm to a healing soul. There is no blame shifting or accusing found in these pages. Rather, as a pastor who has wrestled with these issues in both his own personal life and the life of his congregation, Sinclair Ferguson offers sweet biblical truths to exhort the believer to faith.
Every page of this resource points the reader to Christ. In the end, you will be equipped with the head knowledge that Christ has promised that He will never leave you or forsake you and that you are not the only one dealing with your current struggles. I say “head knowledge” because there are times in the life of the believe when this is the only faith you have — what you know to be true — in a given situation when your experience does not seem to align with Scripture. It is this head knowledge, when pressed in times of tribulation, that becomes heart knowledge and is used by the Holy Spirit to equip the believer to persevere through life knowing that a future glory awaits.
I cannot recommend this resource enough. This will be a book that you read once and then read sections over and over again on an as needed basis. This will be one of those books you want to have extra copies of to give away to fellow believers who are also struggling with isolation and desertion.