When The Waiting Is Prolonged!
Read 2 Peter 3:1-14
There's a lot of hype about it, even weeks before the big day. I admit, it isn't a big deal to many people, but my husband and I do look forward to the NFL football draft, and we watched the first three rounds this week. It's fun to hear the stories of some of the individuals who are drafted and the firsts that sometimes occur.
For example, on Friday, Old Dominion had its first player ever drafted on the big stage. Edge rusher Oshane Ximines is now a New York Giant. That's a long wait for a college to have that honor, but the waiting was much more personal for 22 athletes who waited to be chosen in the first round. These men spent Thursday night in the green room, waiting to be called by one of the 32 NFL teams. Each of them was anticipating being chosen in the first round. However, when the last pick was in, five of those athletes were still waiting. Among them was quarterback, Drew Lock. ESPN had tweeted this week that Drew Lock was surely a first-round lock; however, when it was time to go back to the hotel on Thursday night after 32 selections had been made, ESPN's prediction had proved to be wrong, and Drew Lock was no longer waiting in the green room when the second round began on Friday night. He was chosen on Friday by the Denver Broncos, but surely waiting is more difficult when the wait is longer than had been anticipated.
This is true even when we are waiting for something wonderful and certain such as God's promise that we read about in 2 Peter 3:10-14; Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 65:25; Revelation 21:1-6. The details of what is to come are too wonderful for words. There are some mysteries we don't know concerning the new kingdom Jesus has promised His children, but we have enough information to anticipate what is to come with great joy. Paul tells us that even the created things groan in anticipation of being freed from the curse that came upon everything because of Adam's sin, Romans 8:19-21.
Yet, in 2 Peter 3:1-9, we are reminded that we are still waiting in the "green room", and many are watching us as we wait. Some are scoffing and mocking. They don't believe that God once judged the world with a flood, and they don't think that He will come again. They believe that all will go on as usual and that our anticipation is useless. That makes our attitudes and actions of the utmost importance as we wait. Do others see that we wait with eagerness because we are certain that Jesus will keep His promise, 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 9:28?
If we believe Jesus will make all things new, Peter reminds us that our lives should reflect this truth, 2 Peter 3:10-14.
1. Since we know that everything on the earth is temporary and will pass away, how should we view our possessions? Surely, we can enjoy what God has given us, 1 Timothy 6:17, but His gifts should never be masters over us.
2. Since we know that people are scoffing, even as they observe our behavior, we should live in a way that honors the God Who will be returning. How easy it is for any of us to slowly drift into attitudes and actions that are contrary to God's ways. Before we know it, we can begin to pattern our ways to the world's way of thinking rather than the Savior's, Romans 12:2.
Today, I read that one of the evangelical churches in Sri Lanka is calling on its congregation to forgive those who killed and injured hundreds of Christians and many who were in hotels on Easter. Holding out forgiveness doesn't mean that justice shouldn't be done. God has provided governments and courts to exact earthly justice. However, an offer of forgiveness can open a door to tell others about what we have freely received, Ephesians 4:32. What a picture of walking as Jesus walked, 1 John 2:6; Luke 23:34.
3. Since our focus should be on what the Lord has waiting for us, we should strive to live in peace, Romans 12:18-21. More and more people are at odds with one another. Words seem to fly everywhere. How can we keep out of the fray? There could be many suggestions, but here is one from Nehemiah 6:4. We can remember that as we eagerly wait for Jesus' return, we are involved in a great work. We must not be deterred by becoming involved in fruitless arguments. Instead, we choose peace, with the desire that those who don't yet belong to Jesus will find freedom from the evil one, 2 Timothy 2:24-26.
Lord, Thank You for Your sure promise to return. May others see the hope you have given us and ask us the reason for it, 1 Peter 3:15.