2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 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.
God is Patient. And that is a good thing!
(This is part 18 of our study on ‘Who is God‘)
God is content to wait for the exact right moment to put things into action, or to take a certain action. Our Father is also slow to anger, which means whilst He is still just, and righteous, He doesn’t take unnecessary immediate action, when there is a better way.
1 Timothy 1:16-17 (ESV)
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
What does this mean for me?
God is not slow. You might be waiting for something to happen, you might be praying for something to take place. God is not slow! But God knows the perfect time, and is willing to be patient for that perfect time to come along. It doesn’t mean the answer to every prayer is always ‘yes’, but either way, the answer will always come at the most appropriate time.
God is just, yet forgiving. God will punish sins, but He withholds that final judgment until the right time. He has allowed a time, which is right now, for the world to continue on its fallen path, that more people might come to know Him, and trust in Him as savior and Lord. On the last day all people will know Him as Lord, but only those that have confessed it prior to that final judgment and revelation will be saved. But don’t be fooled! Judgment is coming, and it is coming soon. It will come at the exact moment it needs to come.
How often in our lives are we too impatient to wait for the perfect time? Even in simple things like driving or crossing the road, or even walking through a shopping centre, how often are we patient to do things at the right time, like merge, rather than just taking off at a time that suits us? And if we fail in the small things, as I know I do often, how much more the big things in life! We jump before the ship has docked, we move before God wants us to.
But God is patient with us, knowing our weaknesses, and so treats us as young children, who need to be taught the right way, with love and gentleness, but followed by a firm hand. For If God wasn’t patient, would any of us be here now?
Exodus 34:6 (ESV)
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
Lord God, almighty Father, thank you for Your patience. Thank you that You were patient with me until the right time to bring me to know You, and to trust You as Lord. Thank you that You hold back your final judgment until as many people as possible can come to know You, and be saved from themselves. Just as you have perfect patience, guide us, teach us, help us to be also patient like You, not just in the big decisions in life, but in all things. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.