Where Is the Promise of His Coming?

Waiting has never been my strength. I’m the kind of person who would ask the Lord for patience and then add “and please give it to me right now!” Yep, that’s me, alright!

But there is great wisdom in learning to wait. In fact, one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to teach them how to be patient and wait for opportunities when they are ready for them. It’s called “delayed gratification” and it is the key to helping your children be responsible and mature adults. Too often our overly entitled society becomes furious when their desires aren’t met immediately. In my opinion. this is one of the reasons for the weakness of our culture now as grown adults have simply refused to grow up!

Look at our lesson today in 2 Peter 3:1-18. I’m just going to quote the first half of the passage, but please read it all when you can:

Beloved, this is now the second letter that I have written to you, and in both of them I have aroused your sincere mind by way of reminder; that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.” They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.

St. Peter writes the churches under his care about the temptation to give up when it seems the Lord is taking His own sweet time in returning. Know that the first generation of followers of Jesus were convinced He would return before they died, and they lived as if the return of the Lord was just around the corner. Imagine how this affected the weak faith of some when the Second Coming didn’t happen in their lifetime. They began to doubt the whole message of Jesus because they were impatient.

St. Peter insists these folks who were impatient remember the sober teachings of the Faith!

He tells these dear believers to not be surprised when “scoffers” come and make fun of us Christians for believing like we do. Forewarned is forearmed! If you know this ahead of time, when it happens it won’t discourage you. There have always been people who salve their own fears and shallow thinking by making fun of believers in Christ. Don’t let them get you down!

Peter reminds them that when others say “Hey, everything is still the same, just like in the days of old.” Yep, that was the same words the people used just before the Great Flood, and now this world is awaiting a purification by fire at the Last Judgement! So, keep believing.

Then Peter gives them, and us, the perspective that will allow us to not stumble into disbelief and give up by reminding us that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” We are on God’s timetable. He is not on our timetable. Keep that in mind and you’ll discover just why the belief in the Second Coming of Jesus is so valuable! It keeps me attentive. It keeps me awake. It teaches me patience. And it teaches me the sobering focus on preparing my life instead of being drunk with my passions and living as if God doesn’t even exist.

Today, the Church declares “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” And He will. He will keep His promise. That is a guarantee. Now, you and I have to be Orthodox on Purpose, so we can keep our promise to Him!

P.S. Dear Lord, I live in a spiritual desert of disbelief today. And I find myself tempted towards either despair or ignoring Your wisdom for my life. Please teach me the wisdom of sober patience, and to focus my life on being like You instead of being distracted by those who make fun of me for believing. Give me Your grace and strength to stay faithful because I know You will always be faithful to Your promises. Amen.

3 comments:

  1. Dear Father,
    I cannot begin to tell how this devotional has blesses me today. I am so grateful to God to He is one who keeps His words. I have reached out to you in the past, and as I have said before I am a minister in the Church of the Nazarene, but I am so thankful for how you share the beautiful truth that can only be given by the direction of the Holy Spirit. May God continue to bless your life and ministry.
    Yours in Christ,
    Mikeal Lanning, email hidden; JavaScript is required

  2. Father, for some reason I keep getting notices that I have unsubscribed from your blog. I do NOT want to unsubscribe! Why am I getting these messages?

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