The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise… He is pa-tient with you, not wanting anyone to perish…
—2 Peter 3:9
The season of Advent begins today. This is more than a time to turn on Christmas lights, check our gift list twice, and remember the birth of Jesus. In this season the church has traditionally looked beyond the first coming of Jesus to his second coming as well. The Bible offers many sobering reminders of a coming judgment on sin and injustice.
When is Christ going to return? There have been many Christmases since the birth of Jesus. And there have been many Advent seasons that speak of his return. But why doesn’t Christ return now? Does God not see the mess the world is in? Why does he not end it all and make a new start with people who listen to him?
Peter has two answers. First, God’s timing is beyond us. And, second, God is patient.
Which would you rather have: a God that you and I can figure out and who is in a hurry to punish? Or a God beyond our understanding, but patient—patient enough to wait for me, and you, and for that person you pray for each day, to repent and receive his salvation?
I like the way Peter describes God. He says that time is different for God, indicating that the Lord has all kinds of time to make sure no one misses their time to turn around and be saved.
“Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God and Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5). Amen.
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