Hope While We Wait
2 Peter 3:8–15
By Wesley Scoggins
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.
In this text, Peter is writing with a word of hope for people who are waiting. We all love to wait, right? I wrote that question rather sarcastically. Of course we don’t like to wait! We hate waiting in line at the DMV, at the doctor’s office, or even waiting at a long stop light. We are people who are ready to get to our destination, ready to achieve our goal. Peter gives some hope to these people who are waiting, waiting for the Day of the Lord. On that day, Jesus will return and gather His people to Himself, and destroy sin and evil once and for all! Peter even describes the passing away of the current world we are in, which will give way to a new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
But, that day is not here yet. So what shall we do? We should live with hope in the day to come. Living with hope looks like living lives of holiness and godliness (2 Pet. 3:11), be repentant (2 Pet. 3:9), and be patient (2 Pet. 3:9, 15). In short, we should live as people who know what the end is: that Jesus is alive and will return to earth. That is a great hope to live in!
In reality, this time “in-between the times” that we’re in is not the first time God’s people had to wait. There’s a 400 year gap in between the Old and New Testament, between the last oracle of Malachi and the angel speaking to Zechariah in Luke 1. That’s 400 years of “silence” from God; no prophets or revelation were given to Israel during this time. The people of Israel were to live in hope as well. Just because God may seem silent, does not mean that He isn’t at work. God used this 400 year period to prepare the way for the Gospel to be sent out. During this time the Romans brought peace, built strong roads that connected major metropolitan areas, and had and established empire-wide language. All three of these were crucial for the good news to spread across the world.
Even though we are waiting in this “in-between” time, does not mean that God is not working. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise” (2 Pet. 3:9). And just as Israel had hope for the first Advent, we have the hope of Christ’s second Advent. So let us hold fast to this great hope, and strive towards holiness, godliness and patience. We’ve experienced a great hope, but there’s another one coming!
Father, thank you for the hope that we have in your Son. Help us, by your Spirit, to live in light of that hope.