Monday, November 09, 2015

The Patience of God

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance .”

(2 Peter 3:9 ESV)

            As believers, it’s easy for us to get frustrated as we watch our world go to pot.  We see all of the evil in our world.  We see the world’s rejection of Christ.  And this makes us wonder why the Lord hasn’t put an end to it.  We wonder why he hasn’t come back, ushering in the new heavens and the new earth.

            We fail to realize that this is a sign of God’s grace.  Even though it’s right for us to be concerned about the evil in our world, and even though it’s easy for us to get discouraged as we watch our world drift further away from Christ, we must understand that God’s desire is for the salvation of all men.

            This, then, is why he waits.  As we see in the above verse, the Lord isn’t slow to fulfill his promise.  What we perceive as sluggish is, in reality, an expression of his patience.

            The end will come.  At the right time, God will bring it about.  However, in the meantime, God is giving man the opportunity to repent.  His patience is allowing more opportunity for the gospel to go forth and for the Spirit of God to work in the heart of man.

            Because of this, we should not become discouraged as we await the fulfillment of his promise.  Even though we’d all love to be free from this world of sin, and even though we’d love to be experiencing eternity in a place free from the consequences of sin, we should revel at the Lord’s patience.  We should rejoice because the day of grace continues.

As the people of God, we must share the heart of God.  Even though we long for his promise to be fulfilled, and even though the end of evil is something to be desired, we shouldn’t yearn for fate of the wicked to come quickly upon them.  Knowing that God is giving man the opportunity to repent, knowing that he desires the salvation of all, we should seek the salvation of the lost.  We should make use of the time God is giving to the world by carrying out the call he’s given us.  We must make use of the day of grace by proclaiming the message of grace to all creation.


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