How Long, O Lord?

 “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.”  2 Peter 3:9

Mass shootings. Natural disasters. Refugees displaced by war. Famine. Starvation. Racial hostility.

Simply writing these things wearies me. Yet they’re a mere sliver of all the atrocities and injustice in our world. The list could stretch for pages.

The Bible teaches that God is perfectly just, and that he promises to right all wrongs and make all things new. In his coming Kingdom, “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

This dichotomy births a lament in my heart: “How long, O Lord? How long until you intervene?” And, if I’m honest, in my lowest moments it provokes doubt in God’s goodness, his power, even his existence. Will he actually return to make things right? Does he care? Is he even there?

Perhaps you struggle with the same questions. Clinging to God’s promises in the face of such evil and suffering can be exhausting, and at times feels impossible. In 2 Peter 3:9, we find a glimpse into God’s heart and the reason for our waiting. He withholds his intervention of judgment and renewal because he yearns for people to repent and come to know him.

What feels to us like slowness in fulfilling his promise is actually an unimaginable long-suffering on his part, motivated by his love. He feels the weight of evil and injustice (see Genesis 6:5-6), yet he bears it for the sake of all who will turn to him.

Lord, thank you for your astonishing patience and love. Forgive my doubt and impatience, and increase my compassion for those far from you. Give me renewed strength to trust you and your promises, and use me to share your great love with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Jason Weimer
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•  Waiting on God – How Do We wait? – A Bible Study by Sylvia Gunter

• Prayerful Waiting – A Devotional by Max Lucado

The Waiting Side of Faith


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