Have you been waiting on something to happen in your life? Maybe for a very long time? Chances are, you’ve been tempted to just give up.
You’re Not Alone
Most people have experienced this. Life doesn’t always happen on our preferred timetable. Maybe you’re praying about a situation, and it seems like your request is being relayed by an African swallow carrying a coconut. You wonder if God has even heard your prayer or if He ever plans to act on it.
The early church believers had many of those same thoughts and questions. But they were learning to navigate life God’s way without the luxury of having the New Testament to turn to for guidance. They were real people facing real problems, looking for real answers, and they didn’t always get to see their answers happen instantaneously either.
God Doesn’t Function within Our Time Constraints
The early church was excited about the new hope they had found in Jesus and the promise of His second coming. Yet others scoffed at the idea and ridiculed the promise. Some of the believers began to question what they were hoping for and if the time for it would ever come.
Because of this, the apostle Peter wrote to remind them that people would question God’s promises (2 Peter 3:3–7). He encouraged them that God’s words are the deciding factor that holds all things together and for a purpose. People scoffed because they hadn’t witnessed something to make them believe. To them, vast amounts of time had passed, and things were the same as before. Since nothing had happened, they figured the promise must not have been valid.
With this in mind, Peter wrote: “Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8–9 NKJV).
Peter wanted his readers to understand that time is not a determining factor for God. He is eternal. Time isn’t an issue for Him. But still, we wonder—why does He take so long? Well, He explains that. Let’s look at the promise He gave us. Verse 9 says He is patient with us because He doesn’t want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to come to repentance.
God Has a Desired Result in Mind
God is taking His time because He has a plan and a desired result. He wants to give everyone an equal chance to accept His mercy and grace in the person of Jesus. His patience is causing time as we know it to keep moving on, but He isn’t running out of time. His promise still has a delivery date, and it is tied to the result He is expecting.
It’s the same with the promise that you have from God, the one you’re holding on to right now. God isn’t slow. Don’t fall into the trap of counting days, weeks, or years. Keep your focus on what you are hoping for. Remember that God is more invested in you receiving what He promised than even you are. His words to you are an extension of His character, and He watches over them to carry them out. He will always do His part. It’s up to you to trust His timing. †