“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9
The United States was presented with a grim and sobering prediction this week as we appear to approach that apex long predicted by leading scientists. Yet all the accumulated intellect and expertise at leading national health institutes such as the CDC and NIH, are incapable of delivering solid promises to the American people at a time when uncertainty reigns and we are left to predictive models and best-worst-case scenarios. Aspirations for better days to come are stuck in the mire of despair. How we long for the ability of one who can promise and deliver. We yearn for certainty especially in times of so many unknowns. The Word of God has revealed to us that only God has the capacity and power to see that His promises are kept. He does not trifle with predictions because His Word is spoken and destined to be fulfilled.
Many of us can recall that time in our lives when we acknowledged that our sin, which separates us from God, was fully paid through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary. We came to the Lord Jesus Christ, understanding that only He could fully satisfy the awful judgment of sin, and we placed our trust in His saving power. The promise of salvation is that sinners such as ourselves will never face an eternity of separation and judgment but will be ensured a place in the presence of our God because the Lord Jesus Christ has provided us this path by paying the full price of our sin. We have yet to see the fruits of these blessing with our own eyes, but we have the certainty that these things await because this is precisely what God has promised. While His promises are backed by the weight of divine authority, He has delivered on this promise when His only begotten Son was nailed upon the cross of Calvary. We can take comfort in the words of that song, “no power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand,” to know the power of our salvation. Such is the comfort we have as believers. But we ought to be mindful that many believers, who lived in previous generations, were not spared from being marched into the Coliseum to face certain death at the jaws of wild animals or from dark pandemics in their day. To stand on the promises of Christ my Savior is not a guaranteed fail-safe from the many adversities, tragedies, and pitfalls of life. Believers will suffer tragedy, as we sadly know from our own experiences. But we take great comfort that the Lord is not slacking in His many promises, starting with salvation which has brought us back to Him and for which we give thanks and glory to God.
Yet if we have not yet come to the Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ His Son, we should tremble in reverent fear when it comes to God’s other promises. His Word tells us in no uncertain terms that “it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27). The appointed hour of death has sadly already visited thousands of our fellow citizens in this pandemic and these turbulent times only reinforce this grim reality. Sadly, many will judge the things of eternity spoken by God through sensory perceptions and ultimately will never heed His promises. Yes, death frightens us. It is what has brought us into this protracted and unprecedented shelter-in-place order that has come at a cost to social interaction and our economy. But what of the judgment thereafter? Can it be easily dismissed when we are reminded here that “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise.” If the promises of God, as they relate to things that scare us, are ordained to come to pass on that appointed day, then so too will the promises be fulfilled that He has made in His infinite grace. Yes, judgment awaits as He has promised. Yet God has given us His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to suffer once for sin so that He might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18). God patiently waits for whosoever to believe in His Son that he or she should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). He is not willing that you or I should perish. Only God can make this promise. Only His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, could facilitate the fulfillment of this promise. Only you can fully place your trust on this promise for your salvation right now.