He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15)

The preschooler is honored for learning to tie her shoes. The athlete is honored for winning a game. And then, there is the Congressional Medal of Honor winner. The significance of an honor is based not just upon what a person has done, but also upon the one bestowing the honor.

This verse of Psalm 91 begins with truths that we have heard before, and promises that we treasure. The Holy One is standing by to deliver us from evil. Elsewhere King David has written, “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) Coming from someone who spent much of his life at war, the words should mean a lot to warriors. But the ending words of our text may shock us: “I will…honor him.”

God is going to honor us? Isn’t it only the other way around? Don’t we rightly sing, “All glory, laud, and honor to you Redeemer King”? Since when can we expect God to honor us? Ever since he said so.

There is a reason why Olympic medal winners stand on elevated platforms. Being honored elevates a person in the eyes of others. Honest honor proclaims: “This person is special!” The Redeemer God is not thanking us when he honors us, he is elevating us. When we call to him in trouble, he does not just lend us a hand. He jumps into the swirling waters to be with us. Then he lifts us up, and out.

When it seems that we are weak and failing, he empowers and propels us. He shows that he is our strength and deliverer. With the Apostle Paul, we can say, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Those are the words of heroes—heroes of faith. The Lord of the heavens has adopted us as his own, given us his name, ransomed us from death, and called us to service in his kingdom. If that’s not being honored, nothing is.

We pray: Lord God, when we call to you in trouble, we know that you will hear and answer us. Remind us that you will do more. Assure us that you will be with us. Enable us to live our lives in faith and joy. Amen.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida-Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military