"The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 ESV
Just as the Lord was faithful to His promise to deliver the people of Israel from the Egyptians and fulfill His promise of the coming Savior in Jesus Christ, He will be faithful to fulfill His promise to return and ultimately usher in the new creation. He will not fail to keep the day, which He has appointed. Our God is not a God of laziness nor slackness, as if He had snoozed His alarm too many times, but instead is a God of patience and faithfulness. He is not slow to fulfill His promise. He is patient and not merely by His wisdom, but because He cares for His children and desires for as many as will repent to come to salvation!
This promise of new creation and seeing all wrong made right creates great hope and motivation in the heart of the believer. Hope even in the days where the world’s darkness seems even darker. As believers when the trials of life come, for example; a cancer diagnosis, a lost job, unexpected financial burdens, and even persecution, we can have a certain hope that is foreign to the outside world. Consider the following true story. An epidemic hit the Roman Empire in the year 165. In the fifteen-year span of the epidemic, one fourth to one third of the population was wiped out. All contact with the sick was avoided as the people understood they were contagious, and they would also be thrown into the streets by the mounds of dead bodies. However, the Christians rejected this shunning of the sick and went and treated them instead, reducing the chances of death by two thirds with basic nursing methods. Christians healed pagans and Christians alike, and they were thought of as miracle workers. The Christians were willing to risk their lives by coming into contact with the sick because of this different kind of hope. This hope is rooted in an eternal perspective, that this life isn’t all there is and that the best is to come. We can loosen our grip on trying to control the outcomes of our life when we focus on Christ and give Him the reins.
Lastly, this promise creates motivation in us. Motivation to be missional and used as vessels through which the Gospel is proclaimed. We do this so that others might experience the promise of new creation, rather than the tragedy of destruction. The Lord has promised judgment and order; let us faithfully work to minister to the unbelieving so they may share in the inheritance of Christ alongside us.
Christ is the fulfillment of the promises of Old, and He will remain the fulfillment of the promises to come. He is our Great Promise Keeper, the one who knows us, who loves us, and who cares for our every need. We are now called to be true, stewards of THE promise, and faithful to keep our own. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. (Matthew 5:37) Entrust yourself to a Faithful Creator and Promise Keeper. (1 Peter 4:19)