HOLD ON TO HOPE!
Lord, what You say I believe sight unseen.
Read 2 PETER 3:1–7
The Day of the Lord
3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
New International Version (NIV)
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“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22,23).
Peter has written to this community before, and he refers to his previous letter (1), which might be 1 Peter or another letter written to this community. Peter writes to “stimulate you to wholesome thinking”—he wants the church to pause and to reflect on her beliefs and actions.
Peter has in mind the specific issue of Jesus’ return. This has not happened yet, as many in the early church have believed it would. Some in the community have begun to question the reality of Jesus’ return (4), but Peter holds fast to the hope of Jesus’ arrival. Peter’s confidence is found in God’s activity in the past, specifically in creation. It is God who creates and sustains all things by his Word. Those who doubt the reality of Jesus’ return are reminded by Peter of God’s power to do as he wishes.
It’s easy to lose hope when something doesn’t happen as soon as we would expect. Many of us will have laid petitions before the Lord, months or years ago, that are yet to be answered. It’s easy to be discouraged, yet Peter’s confidence comes from God’s action in the past, and this spurs him on to trust in the fulfillment of God’s promise. I’m someone who journals and on occasion will read entries from previous occasions. I never cease to be inspired by God’s activity in the past, his provision, his blessing, and his sustaining presence. Perhaps today we could do with some looking back, recalling that the God who sustains all of creation also sustains us and has acted for us in the past to bring us through struggles and trials and to grant us joy. As we look back, perhaps this will breathe fresh hope and confidence that God has not forgotten us and that his promises for us will prevail.
Look back with praise, forward with hope, and upward with confidence.
Lord, grant to all of us the degree of perseverance needed to carry out our mission down here until You finally do arrive to take us home.