2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.8 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. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. — 2 Peter 3:2–9
Season of Waiting
Do you know anyone who actually enjoys waiting? In a day of instant gratification, chances are slim. Yet, so much of our lives are spent in a place of limbo. We wait for lights to change, for our houses to sell, for test results to be read, and for babies to come. No matter how big or small, waiting tends to fill us with anxiety, doubt, and frustration.
We are currently in the liturgical season of waiting, known as Advent. During this season, we take four weeks to remember and celebrate the miracle of the birth of Christ. The first two weeks are meant to be a period of mourning and longing; identifying with the years spent mourning our separation from God and longing for the Messiah who would set all things right. The last two weeks transition into a season of celebration. In that time we remember and celebrate how God’s Word became flesh and all of His promises were fulfilled.
We have the immense luxury of celebrating this birth, a birth longed for and prophesied over for thousands of years. From our place in history, it is easy to see how God’s timing was perfect and how each prophecy clearly pointed to Christ. But for the countless men, women, and children who lived through those years, things weren’t always so clear. Even as prophecy unfolded before their eyes, the Pharisees and Sadducees were unable to see that Christ was the savior they had been waiting for. Over 2,000 years later, we wonder how they could miss it, how they could miss Him. But Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 3, how easy it is to doubt God’s Word after a long season of waiting.
Peter’s words remind me that in this season, we are not only remembering the first Advent but longing for the second. We, like our “Before Christ” brothers and sisters, groan inwardly, awaiting His glorious return (Romans 8:22). Like them, we must cling to God’s promises. We have prophecies and signs to be watching for. And, just as their eyes and hearts grew dull in the waiting, our eyes and hearts threaten to grow weary as well.
Weary in the Waiting
When we grow weary in the waiting, Peter encourages us to remember the stories of old, when God’s Word was proven true. He implores us to recall the hundreds of prophecies Christ fulfilled through his birth, life, death, and resurrection, and to take heart that He will do it again.
In 2 Peter, we are reminded that God’s timing is not our own and our waiting serves a vital purpose: that all may have an opportunity to hear the Gospel, repent, and be saved. It encourages us to be about the business of God while we wait, spreading news of His love and His Gospel.
While waiting, our best option is to trust in the Lord and His timing; to cling tightly to His Word and His goodness. Our faith is never more stretched and grown than in the waiting periods of our lives.
If you are in a season of waiting, I pray Peter’s message gives you strength to hold onto and press into the Lord. He was faithful before and He will be faithful now. In his perfect timing, we will see the fullness of his plan unfold. During this Advent season, let us not only celebrate the miracle of his birth but long for His promised return!
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