Sunday, February 19, 2012

#7 2 Peter 3:9 "Is God Slow?"

"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."

Have you ever found yourself praying to God and saying things like this? "Dear Lord, please help me in this situation. I need help now. I need this to be resolved. Please hurry with your answer. Impatiently yours, Your servant [fill in your name here]......"

Yes, I will admit it. Sometimes I, too, think God is slow. But, of course, from what I know of God, He really is NOT slow, He just seems that way.

We are a generation who lives by the half-hour sitcom where everything is resolved and satisfied within the 30 minute time slot. We are the audience who loves the overnight sensation, the break-out performer, the Hollywood Happy Ending.

That's because we mortals want things to happen NOW. We're willing to work for things, as long as resolution is already in sight. We have to see the light at the end of the tunnel before we even enter the tunnel. We won't tune in to the ball game until the 4th quarter. (Okay, no die-hard sports fan will do this, but I confess that I do...)

In this passage from 2 Peter, God's promise refers to the Coming of Jesus Christ. First century believers hoped that Jesus would return to earth during their life time. They hoped for that resolution, not only for their faith's sake, but for the sake of the suffering, persecuted brethren.

Those who were skeptical of this new faith, Christianity, scoffed and mocked them. They laughed at them because they believed and hoped for a salvation that didn't appear to come. They prayed for Christ's supernatural appearance on earth that seemed futile and foolish.

Quite honestly, I don't tell everyone I meet that I hope to be caught up in the Rapture of the Church any time soon. (For the record, I DO place my hope in Jesus' rapture of His church, but that's another sermon topic for the future...) And I know most non-believers and modern day scoffers are not watching to see if I am raptured .

But they ARE looking at my life and observing whether or not my prayers are answered, if my trials are resolved, or if it appears that some Higher Power is watching over me and taking extraordinary care of me. In other words, they're watching to see if my faith is worth it, and if my God is worth waiting for.

Let's face it. There's no way to hurry up God. This verse makes it quite clear that God has His own time schedule, and that schedule isn't always to our liking.

But we can still hope, knowing that God has a purpose for this world and for His children. The world may not see God answer quickly or expeditiously, but the world can watch our trust, our unwavering hope and our firm belief that He is in charge. After all, isn't faith the substance of what we hope for and the evidence of things we can't see? (Heb. 11:1)

I can't usually see beforehand how God will work out a situation, but I can always be confident that He will. I can't hurry the answer along with more prayers, more fasting and more pleading. But I can wait and know that He has taken care of it.

The world and its scoffers will see our quiet confidence in Him. They can make fun of that, but they can't argue with the results. I remind myself of this, primarily, not just to you, my readers. I, too, get caught up in my anxiousness and doubt.

God quietly reminds me that it's already taken care of. If He said it, then I believe it.


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