My focal point of scripture memorization during the last decade has been the Psalms. Psalm 86 is next on my list to memorize. I have two reasons …
First, it teaches three keys to living in God’s presence. God is good, God is great, and God loves us.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good (v. 5, ESV).
For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God (v. 10).
For great is your steadfast love toward me (v. 13).
Answered prayer arrives when we realize that God is good, great, and loving. During trials, Psalm 86 shows how to live in the presence of goodness, greatness, and love.
We find that we can trust God no matter what happens! We then discover joy.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you (v. 4).
Second, this Psalm helps us with correct expectations of God. Often our problems and the resulting loss of peace come from our sin, but we expect God’s blessing despite our complicity in ungodliness.
During our experience of God’s goodness, greatness, and love, we see our sin and desire freedom …
Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name (v. 11).
When we first know God’s character as being good, great, and loving, and second, when we understand it’s our fault for lacking His presence and peace, then we pray …
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength on behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did (vv. 15-16).
Now the floodgates of mercy open in our relationship with God.
Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you because you answer me (vv. 6-7).
And finally, Psalm 86 has an amazing promise. Carefully read the last verse …
Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me (v. 17).
Yes, when we have trials, if we have a right standing with God, we can ask Him to raise us above our enemies and accusers and above our trials and difficulties – so that we may accomplish His calling!
We can request a sign from God of His goodness!
Let’s discern our relationship with God now, and let’s ask today for a sign of His greatness, goodness, and love.
Signs build trust in God! Ask boldly.