But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 ESV
It can be perplexing to wait on God and remain encouraged when the delay to our blessings is prolonged. The challenge for those who are waiting on the Lord is that God has a different sense of timing than we do. The Lord sees the past, present, and future at the same time. God is never in a hurry, and He cannot be rushed. His timing is always perfect despite our frustration and impatience.
The worst thing a believer can do is get ahead of God. Or act out of impatience and expect God to validate their actions. I have made that mistake on numerous occasions and paid dearly each time I do so. One of the many lessons I learned from the story of Abraham and Sarah is that God’s delay is not a denial. We must trust the Lord’s timing no matter how impatient we become.
In today’s text, the writer teaches believers that God does not operate with the same sense of timing that defines human existence and understanding. Indeed, God’s timing is not chronological. Nor is the Lord erratic in His timing. The Lord operates within the sphere of absolute time. This means, whenever God moves, responds, or acts is always perfect timing.
Yet that does not make it easy for believers to understand and endure. Abraham and Sarah struggled mightily with God’s timing for their son Isaac. So did the children of Israel who waited for 400 years before their exodus out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
The question for this devotional is how believers should manage their expectations according to God’s timing. Our circumstances can make us feel that God is not always on time. So, how then should believers appreciate God’s timing amid prolonged suffering? First, pray for spiritual patience. As tempting as we may get when our blessings are delayed, we must “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
Second, stay engaged in the great commission work. Believers should not let their delayed blessings define their relationship with God and their commitment to the great commission work of Jesus Christ. We should never allow ourselves to become spiritually idle because we are waiting for God to move on our behalf. In truth, God is always moving on our behalf. We must trust that the right time is when our blessing is materialized, no matter how delayed that may be. Therefore, we should keep on praising, keep on serving, keep on worshiping, keep on studying scripture, keep on helping the poor and needy, and keep on making disciples. Then our spirits will be strengthened, and our faith will grow in our not-yet stage.
Third, we must cultivate a spirit of expectation even when our faith weakens. Many believers give up on their blessings far too soon because they do not trust God’s timing. I have done so on numerous occasions. But when I expect God to move, I become encouraged and determined no matter my struggles. At times I may struggle to see how God is answering my specific petition, but I always expect Him to move on my behalf one way or the other.
I wish there was a formula for understanding and coping with God’s timing. But that’s why believers should walk by faith and not by sight. By faith, believers have been waiting for the return of Jesus Christ for over 2000 years. We expect Him to return whether we are alive to see Him or not. God has already set a date for that return, and it will not change. All we can do is trust that in the Lord’s timing, believers will be raptured to be with Jesus, and the devil will be defeated and thrown in the lake of fire to burn for eternity.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How are you coping with God’s timing in your life?
How are you helping another believer to cope with God’s timing as they struggle with a major crisis?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please give me the patience to wait on you and the faith to trust that your timing is best for me. Please help me not to grow weary or make hasty and ungodly decisions while waiting on you to answer my petitions.