How Could We Ever Repay the Lord for His Goodness?
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 116:7-14 | Jeremiah 28:1 – 29:32 | 1 Timothy 1:1-20 | Proverbs 25:17
Today’s Scripture Focus: Psalms 116:7-14
“How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 116:12-13 NIV)
I am always excited when I see God answer prayer. Especially when he does something I’ve been praying about for a long time. In such times we say with the Psalmist: “Be at rest, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”
God is good. He is benevolent, loving and generous in his nature. He loves to do good things for his people. “I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul” Jeremiah 32:41 (ESV). He has good plans for his people (Jeremiah 29:11). He demonstrates that goodness in many ways, but especially by answering prayer.
When he shows his goodness and answers our prayers, often in ways more gracious and wonderful than we have asked or imagined, we ask (like the psalmist) “what can I do to repay you?”
The question is rhetorical, in one sense. There is nothing we can do to repay him of course. You just can’t “outgive” God. How could we even try?
Thanksgiving would be an appropriate response, and nothing in his response takes away from that, but even it just doesn’t seem adequate to express all the gratitude we feel in our hearts in such times.
So what can we do to repay him? We can “lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.” In other words, we can continue to honor him as God, not only by rejoicing in his answer (his salvation), but also by continuing to cry out to him for further answers to prayer (call on his name).
Isn’t that an amazing answer? The only real repayment is found in our continuing to come back to him again and again with our needs. When we do so, we rejoice in his goodness and honor him as God. He is glorified and his name is lifted up as we continue to call out him in prayer for even more of his goodness in continuing to answer our prayers. Our continued prayerful dependence—our longing for his continued goodness—brings him delight.
“Thanks Lord for the answer, now I lift up my cup again and call out to you for another answer to my prayers.” Isn’t he good?