A Hope Worth Waiting For

KEY VERSE: “The LORD is not slack concerning his promises, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” —II Peter 3:9


SOME may interpret the world situation today as a lack of concern and interest on the part of God for keeping his promises to humankind, but actually just the opposite is true. Peter refers to the period which accomplishes the destruction of the second world as “the day of God” (II Pet. 3:12), and the Old Testament is replete with prophetic references describing the “day of Jehovah” as a time when his special attention is turned to the earth. God’s termination of this present evil world is, in fact, one of the many promises found in his Word.

Peter reminds us that the fulfillment of this time of trouble prepares the way for the accomplishment of another vital promise, that of the establishment of the kingdom of Christ, which he terms new heavens and a new earth. “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”—II Pet. 3:13

This long-range plan for man’s salvation, involving the longsuffering of God through the permission of evil, our Heavenly Father, in his great wisdom, saw was the best way to insure an effective opportunity for everlasting life for all people. Not willing that any should perish, but that whosoever will may come to a full repentance through a knowledge of good and evil.

There has been no delay in the outworking of the divine plan, although from the standpoint of our understanding of the time for the glorious appearance of Christ and the full establishment of his kingdom, the vision has seemed to tarry, although not actually so.—Hab. 2:3,4

James associates the test of our patience with our waiting for the outworking of the divine plan in connection with the return of Christ. We quote: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming [Greek, parousia, ‘presence’] of the Lord draweth nigh.” (James 5:7,8) Even though our Lord is now present, we need patience, and we still need to have our hearts established, else we will become weary in well-doing, and will fail to reap the fruition of our blessed hope.

To the Hebrew brethren Paul wrote, “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions, partly, whilst ye were made a gazing-stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”—Heb. 10:32-37

Paul enlarges on this thought, saying, “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb. 6:10-12) Through full consecration we were given a glorious heavenly hope, if we remain faithful to the end, regardless of the cost.—Heb. 3:1

As was true with our Master, we do not strive for earthly goals; instead we set our affections on things above. Our faithfulness to the Lord often places us in positions of disadvantage so far as earthly good things are concerned, especially if we are faithful in bearing witness to the truth. Therefore, our hope of eternal future joys with our Lord in the kingdom is of great consolation. If we maintain this hope confidently and with rejoicing firm unto the very end of the narrow way of sacrifice we will inherit the promise. For God is not slack concerning his promises to us or to the world!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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