Carl Trueman is, in my opinion, one of the best writers of our time. It is not surprising then, that I am thoroughly enjoying his book Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. I received this book (originally written in 2000) free while attending this years T4G. It was one of the first books of the thirty free ones that I picked up to read. I am not disappointed.
Here Trueman is defining assurance and considering how we can lament and have assurance at the same time. Enjoy:
Assurance is…backward looking with regard to its foundation but forward looking in its orientation. In essence, assurance is being certain that God is who he says he is—and that is derived from our knowledge of his great saving acts throughout history as they culminate in Christ—and therefore being sure that he will bring us to glory, that he will complete that good work within us which he has started. We live in the present, at a time when we know that one day we will see God in glory but only see him now by faith. In the meantime, the world is a dark and hostile place; and our souls are in many ways still darkened and frequently tending to hostility towards God. Therefore, there will be times when, either because of external or because of internal factors, we do not see or feel God smiling upon us. At such times we can indeed lament our sorry condition. It is right and proper, and pastoral good sense, that we do so, because to do otherwise is to fool nobody, not even ourselves, and thus to store up trouble for later on; but as we do so, we should also remind ourselves that it is not what we feel now that determines our status, but who God was, is and always shall be. Thus, the lamentation should be set, as it almost invariably is in the psalms, within the context of God’s larger redemptive acts and purposes. (From Reformation, 124-25)
I would encourage you to read through that again and really chew on what Trueman is saying. If you like this paragraph chances are you will greatly benefit from the entire book. You can purchase it here for under 10 bucks. You can read more from Trueman here.