Psalm 116

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“LORD, save me! ”
The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.
I trusted in the LORD when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”
What shall I return to the LORD
for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his faithful servants.
Truly I am your servant, LORD;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD—
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you just needed someone to listen? Not to offer advice or solutions, but just to be present and hear you out? Psalm 116 begins with a simple, yet profound declaration: "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy" (Psalm 116:1). It's a testimony to the comfort and assurance that comes from being heard, especially by God.

The psalmist isn't just celebrating the fact that God answered his prayers or delivered him from some peril. He is speaking of the act of being heard. It's about the intimacy of a God who listens, who is attentive to our cries, our joys, our sorrows, and our hopes. It's a relationship where the believer is not just a face in a vast cosmos but someone who matters.

In the New Testament, we find a beautiful parallel in the story of Mary and Martha. When their brother Lazarus was ill, they sent a message to Jesus, saying, "Lord, the one you love is sick" (John 11:3). When Jesus finally arrived, even though Lazarus had died, Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died" (John 11:21). It's a poignant moment of raw emotion, and Jesus doesn't dismiss her. He listens, he empathizes, and he acts.

There are so many other such moments where Jesus stops to listen, like the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20-22), blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), and the Canaanite woman whose daughter was demon-possessed (Matthew 15:21-28). Each story underscores the truth the psalmist celebrates: God hears us.

But Psalm 116 doesn't stop at just being heard. The psalmist asks, "What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?" (Psalm 116:12). It's a question of response. How do we respond to a God who listens, who cares, who acts on our behalf? The psalmist's answer is one of devotion and trust: "I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord" (Psalm 116:13).

This "cup of salvation" takes on a deeper significance in the New Testament. At the Last Supper, Jesus took the cup and said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). It's a call to remember, to partake, and to live in the reality of God's saving grace.

So, the next time you feel unheard or lost in the noise of life, remember Psalm 116. Remember that you are cherished by a God who listens and hears every sigh, laugh, and cry. And in response, lift up your own cup of salvation, celebrating the God who hears and the Savior who redeems.

God bless you.

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