Our reputation is a priceless treasure…when it’s a good one, of course. Most of us want to be known for our integrity – that we’re reliable and honest in all our dealings. Depending on one’s role in society, we might also like to be known for our technological savvy, our money smarts, our intellectual abilities, or our creative giftedness. We try hard to live up to our reputation, and we probably feel hurt if others don’t trust it.
God has a reputation, too, and it’s a goodie. Through the ages, He’s proven Himself to be faithful and compassionate to those who love Him. Time and experience show that He’s able to do the impossible. He’s eternal, never-changing, and all-wise. He’s capable of turning tragedy to triumph and turn sorrow into joy. And that’s just the beginning! Based on His rock-solid reputation, we have every reason to trust Him and His commands.
God’s reputation gives us assurance that He hears us and will answer when we call to Him for help. Psalm 109:21,26 say, “But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good…Help me, O lord my God! Save me because of your unfailing love. Let them see that you yourself have done it, Lord.”
You know what strikes me in these verses? The pray-er’s faith that God will answer based solely on His reputation as being faithful, good, and loving. There’s no hint of trying to convince God that he’s a good person who deserves help. He simply lays out his concerns and then asks God to answer because of who He is.
This is a good prayer model for us. Here are a few examples:
- When we’re anxious about wayward kids, we can ask God to draw them back to Himself because of His unfailing love for them.
- When circumstances threaten to overwhelm us, we can ask Him for strength and wisdom because He is faithful and good.
- When we’re afraid of financial setbacks, we can ask God to meet our physical needs for the sake of His reputation as Jehovah Jireh, the provider.
I find encouragement in knowing that whether or not God answers my prayers isn’t based on how eloquent my words are, or how good I am. It’s based on who He is, and that never changes.
Can you think of other examples to add to the list above?