God’s patience with a wicked world.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)
The Bible says that when Christ comes back, it will be like the day of Noah. In the days of Noah, the Bible says every thought of man was inclined toward evil. Though we see a great deal of evil all around us now, we are not anywhere close to Noah’s time. We still see a lot of good in our world today. People sacrifice money and time to help others. Many unbelievers do many good things for others. The darkness is all around, but people are still open to the love of God even if they don’t yet know it is from God.
God’s continual patience in this wicked time can be difficult for us. We crave justice and we want to see people get what they deserve. God’s love manifests in compassion more than judgment. He knows when He will return. He will not break His promise. His desire, however, is that none would eternally perish, and all would have eternal life. He is in no rush to cast judgment. Shouldn’t we be the same?
Rather than focus on the wickedness perpetrated by people, our response should flow out of His compassion. Loving our neighbors and praying that people would come to know the Lord is our priority, not condemnation. When we see people doing horrible things, it is easy to attach their identity to their behavior. It is easy to condemn their hearts because of what they do. This is not Godly. God separates who we are from what we do condemning what we do while loving us to the full. And He is our example.
A spirit of condemnation blinds us to what God wants to accomplish in us through His patience with the world. Grasp how patient God is being with people purposely committing acts of selfishness, violence, and hatred will boost our confidence that God forgives us? If God is patient with murderers and rapists, how much more patient is He with us when we mess up. It’s not that we are any better than those who live wicked, but knowing God is patient with the rebellious allows us to accept forgiveness for our sin without hesitancy. This love cleanses us of a guilty conscience and covers over the multitude of our sins.
Prayer: Lord, help me to love those who do wickedness as You love them. Amen.