God's Timing: Different Perspectives. 2 Peter 3:8-9.

July 28th, 2009

2 Peter 3:8-9

3:8. But, 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.
3:9. 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.

This is a message that is being written to a group of believers who are growing a little complacent. They are letting some of the doubts of the world creep in, and having their patience stretched. Their minds need to be stirred up. Take time to remember the words of the prophets of old, the words of the apostles, the commandments, even the words of the savior himself.

It's easy to say to ourselves that God spoke to early, ancient people, but they are long dead and the world keeps plugging along without much change. Seasons come and go, years come and go, and miracles seem to not happen anymore. Where are the things promised, When is the last days going to be? Don't rush things. The earth was created long ago, and was designed to endure for a long, long time. In fact the promise is that seasons will continue for as long as it takes. the earth will continue, just as it has, preserved, until God destroys it with fire, when he comes to judge all people.

Our concept of time, and God's concept of time are different. We live in the present moment, with each tick of the clock. Our memories are short and fade more as time passes. We face the future with blind eyes. To God, a thousand years is as a day, and a day as a thousand years.

That phrase isn't meant to be an exact ratio. It serves to demonstrate God's perspective. It's taken from Psalms 96:4 where it states that to God, a thousand years passes as yesterday once it is done. Like a watch in the night.

Have you ever had one of those adrenaline rushing, nervous moments? Where time seems to stand still during that moment of high tension? Forget the feeling that the day will never end, the hour seems to be taking all day, you live a lifetime in a minute. As tense as it may be, you know that it is one of those experiences that you'll be able to sit back and laugh at some day.

The next day comes and that tense, nerve racking moment passes, it doesn't look nearly as intense. It becomes a learning experience, a memory, you can recount the event in a few words. It has started becoming small. Now it doesn't seem like it took all that much time to deal with. That's the way God experiences a thousand years.

God works in his own time, and he may seem as though he is being delayed, or dragging his feet, but he is always exactly on time.

God is not slack. That means that he doesn't delay, or hold back, or tarry. He waits until the time is ripe. And when he moves, he moves quickly.

Before you can enjoy a harvest, the fruit has to be ripe. We wait for the growing season and do without that fruit. God has planted his vine, creation. The vine is still growing, the fruit on it is not ripe. Wait for it. Don't rush it. To harvest it before it's season would yield a sour tasting crop,. It would be no good to anybody.

While we are waiting for the final fruit, we should be glad. The longer it takes, the more people there are who can come to know God. To cut the time short, and wish that God would come back right now and get it over with means that certain people will not have had the chance to make a decision for him, and believe in him. He wants everybody to come to him.

Will everybody become believers? I don't know. Probably not. But God knows who all he wants. He wants to give everybody the full count of the time in this season to grow.

On a smaller scale. God answers our prayers for our immediate needs. He knows our physical needs. Sometimes his answer is "no." "No," is a valid answer.

More than our material needs, watch for the way he answers prayer to change our attitude toward him, and towards others. It is our soul, our attitude, our personality, that we will take with us into heaven, not our car, or clothes, or house.

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