"First, then, this is a duty wherein it is most evident that Christians are but little exercised--namely, in holding immediate communion with the Father in love. Unaquaintedness with our mercies, our privileges, is our sin as well as our trouble. We hearken not to the voice of the Spirit, which is given unto us, "that we may know the things that are freely bestowed on us of God." This makes us go heavily, when we might rejoice; and to be weak, where we might be strong in the Lord. How few of the saints are experimentally acquainted with this privilege of holding immediate communion with the Father in love! With what anxious, doubtful thoughts do they look upon him! What fears, what questionings are there, of his good-will and kindess! At the best, many think there is no sweetness at all in him towards us, but what is purchased at the high price of the blood of Jesus. It is true, that alone is the way of communication; but the free fountain and spring of all is in the bosom of the Father....
Let us, then,--Eye the Father as love; look not on him as an always lowering father, but as one most kind and tender. Let us look on him by faith, as one that hath had thoughts of kindness towards us from everlasting. It is a misappropriation of God that makes any run from him, who have the least breathing wrought in them after him. "They that know thee will put their trust in thee." Men cannot abide with God in spiritual meditations. He loseth soul's company by their want of this insight into his love. They fix their thoughts only on his terrible majesty, severity, and greatness; and so their spirits are not endeared. Would a soul continually eye his everlasting tenderness and compassion, his thoughts of kindness that have been from of old, his present gracious acceptance, it could not bear an hour's absence from him...
Let, then, this be the saints' first notion of the Father--as one of full eternal, free love towards them: let their hearts and thoughts be filled with breaking through all discouragements that lie in the way. "
--John Owen, Communion with God, Works of John Owen vol 2, p.31-32.
(1) While the atonement is a consequent necessity upon God's determination to redeem a people, we should never forget that the motivation of God sending His own Son is His deep love for His people.
(2) The eye of the Father towards His children is indeed love. This should lift us when we are downtrodden. It should encourage us when we seen because we can flee in repentance not to a cruel judge but to a loving and merciful Father.
(3) What a sad day it is when we have know knowledge of the Father's love for us. There are indeed Christians who wrestle with the idea of a loving Father. But the Father's love is an essential part of the gospel.
Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."