Ezekiel 40-41 2 Peter 3
“The Lord is not slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives.” (2 Peter 3:9 NCV)
Back in Peter’s day, people were making fun of Christians because of their belief that Jesus would be coming again soon. (Sound familiar?) They laughed at Christians because Jesus was slow in returning. Perhaps the scoffers asked the Christians what their definition of soon was. Peter wanted those who read his letter to understand that God wasn’t returning on their timetable because He was being patient with all those who hadn’t turned to Him yet. In what might be a shock to many people who claim to follow Christ today, He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He delayed the return of Jesus so that more people could repent and change their hearts and lives.
Many people, believers and nonbelievers alike, have a picture of God sitting up in heaven with a handful of thunderbolts, waiting for someone to do wrong so that He can zap them. Some believers take joy in that idea and make it a point to let sinners know how hopeless they are. Peter, who might have a better understanding of God, didn’t see God that way. He saw God as a father, waiting patiently for His children. In verse 15 he reminded us that we’re saved because He is patient. He calls on us to do our best to live without sin or fault because of God’s patience, but not to gain salvation from living right: we already have salvation. At the same time, if God is patient with us, we should be patient toward others. Perhaps if we show people love and patience, they’ll recognize the power of God in our lives and turn to seek Him.
Lord, how impatient I am. I’m impatient with You while waiting for the return of Jesus, forgetting that people are not in Your family will die without You. I’m impatient with Your followers who don’t show Your love. I’m impatient with non-believers who know better, but still reject You. Let me follow Your example of patience as I deal with life.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.