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Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

 

as some count slackness

We cannot measure God by our standards. God’s delay is a matter of His longsuffering. He has a designated time for dealing with the world. God’s delay does not originate from His unwillingness or impotence to discharge His promise.

but is longsuffering toward us

“Longsuffering” denotes forbearance (Ex 34:6). To possess “longsuffering” is to be long-tempered, to bear with. Longsuffering is a quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation. This quality of character does not hastily retaliate or quickly punish. It is the opposite of anger, especially impulsive anger. Mercy is often associated with this quality (Ex 34:6; Ro 2:4; 1 Pe 3:20). Longsuffering does not surrender to situations, provocations, or failure under trial. This person has patience despite difficulties. God executes unfathomable patience toward us.

PRINCIPLE:

Patience is the perpetuation of love. 

APPLICATION:

God is long-tempered with us. He has infinite longsuffering with those who exercise negative volition toward Him. God does not violate man’s will. He created man as a free agent and respects that agency. God does not usually impose His will on man’s will but gives him time to repent. 

It is wonderful that God does not judge us the way we judge others. God deals in facts, not subjective judgments. Men are the opposite: “I don’t have the facts, but I have made up my mind. I don’t like you, so you are irrelevant.” Longsuffering is an attitude of love. This quality does not carry the idea that you would like to let them have it, but you hold back because you care about them. No, God’s love takes up the slack.

We will exercise a long temper towards God and others if we operate like Him. Therefore, it is no longer a question of “Lord, you have not provided me with the success I want.” When we love the Lord, we do not ask that question because we know He is faithful to His promises.

One characteristic of love is longsuffering. We find ourselves tolerating things we would not have otherwise allowed. This does not mean we are mindless: “That’s alright, honey, go out and buy that car.” We say, “I want it now.” The Lord says, “It will come in My timing.” Because we love the Lord, we trust Him to give it in His calendar. Patience is the perpetuation of love.

 

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