“What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation, and shall call on the name of the Lord. I shall pay my vows to the Lord.” (Psalm 116:12-14)
“The Psalmist’s answer to His own question, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits?” is, in essence that he will go on receiving from the Lord so that the Lord’s inexhaustible goodness will be magnified. First, lifting up the cup of salvation signifies taking the Lord’s satisfying salvation in hand and drinking it and expecting more.
“Secondly this is also the meaning of the next phrase: “I shall call upon the name of the Lord.” What shall I render to God for graciously answering my call? Answer: I shall call again. I will render to God the praise and the tribute that He is never in need of me, but is always overflowing with benefits when I need him (which I always do).
“Then the Psalmist says, in the third place, “I will pay my vows to the Lord.” But how will they be paid? By holding up the cup of salvation and by calling on the Lord. That is, they will be paid by faith in future grace.” (John Piper, Future Grace)
May I react with gratitude when I look back and see the grace God has poured out on me, and not with a sense of guilt or uneasy debt. May I not scramble to prove to Him and to myself that I am grateful for the cup of salvation by doing all the right things, but by offering up the deep and certain conviction that He is my salvation and therefore I will not be shaken. That can be hard; sometimes it is indeed a sacrifice of praise. I don’t know why– something about our fallen state makes accepting grace with joy perversely difficult sometimes. But I pray that offering of thanksgiving will always be on my lips. My salvation is assured in every moment; so should my song be: “Hallelujah, all I have is Christ.”