“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
In Romans 9-11, Paul moves from expressing anguish over how his fellow Israelites are rejecting Jesus the Messiah toward a closing praise for God's wisdom. As Paul has worked his way through his anguish with gospel truths, praise erupts in his heart. If you are familiar with the Psalms, this is a familiar pattern; anguish leads to praise as God's beauty and goodness are considered.
The aspect of God's goodness that Paul has highlighted is God's mercy. God is absolutely free in giving us his mercy. God is moved from his own heart to show mercy. God is absolutely determined to display and give us his mercy. God's free mercy is even highlighted in the Scripture above. Who has given God a gift that God is obligated to repay? Those are wonderfully freeing words. They remind us that God's mercy to us is not dependent upon anything we are or do. God's mercy is free to us. It has to be absolute free to us, because even if we were able to give God gifts, every gift we give to him is first a gift that he gives to us.
So as we walk through this day, as we experience favorable circumstances and trials—everything we have, all that we are able to enjoy, every moment is a gift from God. As we experience trials, and as we experience anguish, reflect on the beauty of God's pure mercy. Consider his great generosity toward us! In anguish, seek God's beauty. Seek to praise him even in the trial.