Read Psalm 86

Featured Verse: Psalm 86:17

“Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”

I have taken to praying this psalm over the past couple of years. Not so much the second part about my enemies—I may be naïve, but I don’t think I wrestle with people who are out to get me quite like David did. It’s the first part of that verse that I love: Give me a sign of your goodness.

Here is the way some of the other translations put it:

“Send me a sign of your favor.” (New Living Translation)

“So look me in the eye and show kindness…Make a show of how much you love me…” (The Message)

“Show that you approve of me!” (Contemporary English Version)

That is a great prayer to pray in any version—and even better if God so happens to answer it. What was the sign David was looking for? For sure, David needed protection (Psalm 86:2), but he wouldn’t mind if God threw in a little mercy, too (Psalm 86:3,16). David wanted God to give him reason to laugh ((Psalm 86:4), perhaps from the knowledge that yet again he had been forgiven of his sins (Psalm 86:5,15). And in general, since David had fully devoted himself to God (Psalm 86:2), he wanted his life to be living proof that God loved him.

We don’t normally encourage people to pray for signs, since we believe that true faith doesn’t focus primarily on visible answers. We teach faith over sight; that it’s more spiritual to believe in the invisible than to grasp for the visible. But David’s faith led him to believe God for and boldly ask for a literal, physical sign that would prove to the whole world that he was living under Divine favor. What is so bad about that?

So go ahead, pray for a sign of God’s goodness today. I am! I am asking that God will show me a literal, physical sign of his favor today. I, unapologetically, want the whole world to know that he approves of me. I am requesting that God will look me in the eye and make a show of how fond he is of me—not tomorrow, but today!

Who knows, maybe God will grant our request today!

“Few are they who by faith touch Him; multitudes are they who throng about Him.”

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