The slowness of God

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9)

For those suffering from physical pain, unemployment, relational stress, or any other number of heartaches, the well-known phrase “with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years” is hardly comforting. In the context, Peter is speaking these words to those who think God’s withholding of judgment is proof that he will never judge, so we can live however we please. Peter rebukes such people, telling them that God withholds judgment because He wants to give everyone a chance to repent of their sin, but that one day we will all stand before Him, and then it will be too late for the wicked to turn from their sin.

But back to the whole “day = thousand years” thing. Peter’s point in using that phrase is to make it clear that what seems like a long time to us is like a blink of an eye to God. Certainly, those of us accustomed to microwave dinners, high-speed internet, and everything “on demand” should take this to heart. As Peter writes, God keeps His promises – just not quickly enough, from our perspective.

“How long?” Eighteen times that question is asked of God in the Psalms. How long will you allow wickedness to go unpunished? How long will you forget me? How long will you hide yourself? How long will you be angry? The questions seem as relevant as if they were spoken today. God, if you are so good and so loving, how much longer will you allow this pain to continue?

While being in the company of the Psalmists does not take away the pain, it does encourage us that we are not alone in our pain and our questioning of God. God can handle our complaints. And the answer, as Peter declares, is that God is a God who always keeps His promises, even if they are not fulfilled as quickly as we would like. God never stops being good, never stops being loving, and never stops working for our good, to conform us to the image of His Son Jesus. And if it takes 3 days, or 3 months, or 3 years, or 33 years, then that is what God has deemed necessary to do His refining work. As the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah both declared, God is the potter, and we are the clay, and sometimes the potter must keep the clay on the wheel for a long time in order to transform it into a beautiful pot that can be used for noble purposes.

And so, I encourage you: when the days feel like they last a thousand years, trust in the potter, the God who always keeps His promises. Even if those promises are not fulfilled as quickly as you would like, know that our God is good, all the time.

No Comments






1 Corinthians 10 1 Peter 4:8-9 1 Thessalonians 5 2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Timothy 4 Abundant Life Adoption Affirmation American cullture America Anger Anonymity Anthropology Anxiety Apologetics Approval Arguments Atheism Baptism Barnabas Battle Be still Bible Study Bible reading Bible study fellowship Bible Billy Graham Bob Pierce Bonhoeffer Books Breath Prayer Brennan Manning Brian Fearon Bronx Busyness C.S. Lewis Cape Coast Castle Central African Republic Character Charles Spurgeon Charleston Cheap grace Christian media Christian privilege Christian publishing Christmas Church growth Church life Church College Commitment Communication Community Compassion Competition Confidence Contentment Coronavirus Counseling Courage Cove Service Cowardice Craig Wolfram Critical Race Theory Criticism Cross Culture D.L. Moody Daniel David Death Deborah Despair Discernment Discipleship Discipline Distractions Division E.M Bounds Easter Ebenzer Ecuador Edward Kimball Election Elisabeth Elliot Enabling Encouragement Endurance Envy Ephesians Eternal life Eternity Evaluation Evangelism Faith False Teachers Fame Family Fasting Father Fear Fellowship Footwashing Forgiveness Francis Chan Freedom Friendship Gaia McDermott Gates George Mueller Gift exchange Gino Marozzi Giving Glory God's character God's faithfulness God's goodness God's leading God's love God's plan God's presence God's slowness God's sovereignty God's wrath God\'s faithfulness God\'s love God\'s presence God\'s sovereignty God\\\'s presence God Good Samaritan Gospel Grace Grief Haiti Handel's Messiah Happiness Hartford City Mission Healing Heaven Hebrews 11 Hell Hiddenness of God History Holiness Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Honesty Hope Horatio Spafford Hospitality Houston Human rights Humility Hypocrisy Identity Ideologies Idols Immanuel In memory of Information overload Injustice Insecurity Integrity Intimacy Isaiah 9 Israel JI Packer Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 8:11 Jesus' death Jesus' love Jesus\' love Jesus Job Joe Barone John 8 John Newton Jordan Perterson Joseph Joshua Joy Judgement Judges Justice Kanye West Kingdom of God Knowing God Lamentations Lament Las Vegas Leadership Leaf by Niggle Lent Les Miserables Lessons learned Longing Lord's Prayer Love Luke 10 Lynne Pleau Mark 10:21 Mark Driscoll Marketing Memorial Day Men's conference Mercy Mike Yaconelli Ministry Missions Money Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Moses Music Nancy Butler New Year's New life NewLife Old Testament Opinions Optimism Order Orlando Outreach Parenting Passion of the Christ Passion Pastoral care Pastoral ministry Patience Pentecost Peru Phil Vaglica Philip Yancey Philippians 4:13 Play Pokemon Go Politics Poverty Power Prayer Preaching Pride Month Pride Prison ministry Progress Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Proverbs 14:4 Proverbs Psalm 13 Psalm 46:10 Psalm 46 Psalm 51 Public Speaking Purpose R.C Sproul Reflection Relationship with God Relationships Relativism Relevance Religion Reputation Rest Resurrection Rev 2:4 Revival Rich young ruler Righteousness Romantic love Ron Luce Running Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Same-sex marriage Samuel Sanctification Satan Saul Seculosity Self-Image Self-Worth Service Sex Trafficking Sex Shirley Prey Signifigance Silence Sin Smartphones Social justice Songs of Ascent Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Warfare Spiritual growth Statues Stories Street Church Stress Success Suffering Suicide Sunday School Survivor Syria Technology Teen Mania Thanksgiving The Hartford project The Ragman The Sound of freedom The Underground The Valley of Vision Tim Keller Titanic Tolkienn Tozer Trauma Trust Truth Uconn basketball Unanswered Prayer Unity Uvalde Valley of Vision Vows Waiting Williams Syndrome Wisdom Witness Work Worry Worship Zechariah accountability accusation addiction bitterness cancel culture child trafficking confession conflict cool devotion disillusionment divorce emotions evil evolution faithfulness foster care glory days gratitude idolatry influences listening marriage nostalgia pastor perspective problem of Evil prodigal son purity of heart racism recovery redemption relevant repentance story temptation the one Jesus loves time management trials tribalism violence vision