Patience is one of the most difficult virtues to grasp even in the context of the human lifespan. But in the context of the whole of eternity, it is easy to see why those with no faith or understanding of God would openly scoff and mock believers for their patient insistence that Jesus will come again to judge the world. The point here, in today’s passage though, is not whether or not Jesus is coming again, but whether those who mock our faith have any concept of anything beyond what they can see and touch here and now. Peter, is reminding those who already know God, that they have some knowledge of his sheer immensity. Nothing God does is really conceivable to our puny human perception and therefore, our ideas about how long we should be waiting for Jesus to return can only ever be theoretical. The issue then, is to realise that whether or not we have the patience to wait for Jesus’s return, God himself is showing a far greater grace than we can even imagine by patiently waiting for the time to come when those of his children who haven’t yet done so, will repent and receive their salvation.
2 Peter 3:3-9 NLT
Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
For so much of my adult life before I came to faith, I could say I was a mocker of the truth and I was busy following my own desires. I did this along with almost everyone else I knew. Even now, nearly three years later, I still think I know many more people who have never read the Bible, let alone actually try to live, in any meaningful way, according to it’s message. So whenever I am tempted to doubt the truth of The Lord’s promises, what ever they may be, I will remember that God isn’t necessarily being slow in his delivery. I will try to remember that my impatience is a sign that God is being patient with us all, allowing us time to learn about him in the hope that we will begin to live more closely according to his word.
Daniel 6:1-28, 2 Peter 3:3-9, Psalms 199:129-152, Proverbs 28:21-22