I have a hard time waiting. In our instant culture, minutes seem like hours. A five minute wait at a fast food place seems like an eternity. That concept of minutes seeming like hours makes it hard for me to grasp God’s perspective on time.
2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” This makes me glad the Lord isn’t as impatient as I am. It’s humbling to think because he was patient with me, I had time to accept Christ into my life. As Peter adds in verse 15, the “Lord’s patience means salvation.”
Yet that doesn’t mean we should be complacent about our faith, thinking we have lots of time. Peter warns us, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” We should have a sense of urgency about living out our faith, about ministering to others. Judgement will come when we least expect it.
However, we also need a balanced perspective like God. As Peter tells us in verse 8, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” We should have a sense of urgency about living our life for Christ — like a thousand years passing in a day — but we should also be patient with those who don’t know Christ — like a thousand years in a day.
Likewise, we should not be panicked about judgement, to the point of behaving irrational. Instead it should make us serious and intentional about our faith in Christ. In verse 11, Peter asks the question, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” To which he answers, “You ought to live holy and godly lives.” Peter adds in verse 18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
© 2019 CGThelen