We have been told to expect the coming of the Day of the Lord “as a thief in the night” (2 Peter 3:10).
But that day has not yet come for almost 2,000 years.
Peter expected we’d ask this question, so he encouraged us to focus our attention on God’s greater plan: “Consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:15).
Stop and think about it for a moment. What would have happened if the Lord had not delayed His return? Or what if He had returned 50 to 100 years ago. Would you have existed? If so, would you have come to trust in Christ alone for salvation? Indeed, the long-suffering of the Lord over these past 2,000 years has resulted in much salvation!
The Lord also showed much long-suffering during His first coming. Again and again, His patience was tested not only by the unbelievers, but also by His own disciples.
For example, right after the revelation of Christ’s glory in the transfiguration on the mountain (Luke 9:28-36), His disciples failed to cast out a demon from a child (Luke 9:37-42); they couldn’t understand His clear teaching about His soon passion and death on the cross (Luke 9:44-45); and they had much pride and self-centeredness (Luke 9:46-50).
And yet, the long-suffering of the Lord resulted in their salvation.
How many times have you and I failed to fulfill our calling, or have ignored His commands, or have served and exalted ourselves rather than Him? Yes, the long-suffering of the Lord is necessary for our salvation.
Thank you, Lord, for your long-suffering with us. Enable us to humbly acknowledge our failures, ignorance, and pride and to turn away from them and unto you and your grace and merciful forgiveness in Christ. Help us to walk in humility, looking to your sovereign grace to be patient with all men, to love you with all that we are and have, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.