The apostle Peter wrote to Christians who were standing firm in the grace of God. They were suffering various trials. Peter reminded them what they had already learned from the apostles, 2 Peter 3:1-2. As he spoke about mockers that would come, he spoke about the patience of God in verse 9. He said, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
The promises of God will come to pass. One day He will return. We don’t know the day or the hour, but it will happen. He will return like a thief in the night, 2 Peter 3:10. What an amazing day that will be for those who are in Jesus Christ! We will be with our Savior for eternity. However, it will be a sad day for those who have rejected Jesus. For those who decided not to follow Him, it will be a bad day.
Yet God is patient. As Peter said, God doesn’t desire for anyone to be lost. That is good news! Many in the world don’t have a good understanding of God. Many believe He is a mean God who wants people to spend eternity in hell. That is not the case. Read 2 Peter 3:9 again. Peter said: “Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” God’s wish is that no one will perish, but rather come to repentance and serve Him! The God of the Bible is one who loves all men. We know that because He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins, John 3:16. God is love, 1 John 4:8. All men have an opportunity to be with Him in heaven. Throughout the scriptures, we have seen the patience of God.
- In the book of Jonah and other books of prophecy, we see the patience of God. He gave wicked Nineveh an opportunity to repent, In Jonah 3:10 it says, “When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.” Those in Nineveh were given a second chance. They repented. God is patient.
- God is still patient. He has sent His Son, so we could be saved from our sins. We have His words preserved for us, so we can know Him and His will. The gospel continues to be proclaimed throughout the world, so men can be saved. God is patient. He desires all men to be saved. He desires all men to repent.
Let us never abuse the patience of God. Let us not take for the granted the opportunities He gives us to repent. Let us continue to talk to others about Jesus. Why? Because God’s wish is that none will perish. Ultimately, people have to make a decision to follow Him. For some people, it may take a long time. Like God, we will have to be patient. We must continue to pray. We must continue to shine our lights. We must continue to help. This is God’s wish. Let’s make it our wish as well.