I’ve been asked a lot about how to get God to answer our prayers faster, give us our blessings better, and position ourselves to get what we want from God more readily. Hypocritically, these questions annoy me in others, yet feels justified in myself. But, hidden in such questions can be an unhealthy belief that we have some sort of Bill of Rights before the Lord. Such a belief turns prayer into litigation and our suffering into injustice at the hands of God.
So, I decided to compile a once-and-for-all, final, exhaustive list of everything the Bible says God owes us humans. Here it is:
That’s it. God owes you His wrath. It’s the only thing you deserve, and I deserve. This is more-or-less the whole point of Romans 1-3.
Now, the good news is that God loves to give you grace — that’s the whole story of gospel. But let’s get this really, really clear: you don’t deserve grace. You can’t deserve grace. That’s what makes it grace. It’s free for you, but rather costly to God.
It’s helpful (for me at least) to remember that what I deserve is wrath, but what I get is grace. No matter what I experience in this life, if it’s in this life, then it’s better than I deserve.2