2 Peter 3:9: “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.”

May 15th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The word longsuffering here contains the idea of a person who is extraordinarily patient and can go for a long time before erupting in anger. Our heavenly Father has a long fuse and endures all kinds of provocation from His children without anger. Many who are not familiar with this verse often ask, “What is God waiting for; why doesn’t He come back?” The simple answer is that He is “not willing that any should perish” so He is extending Himself. If the day of the Lord seems delayed, it is not because of slackness, apathy, or lack of concern, but just the opposite. God is patiently giving the world time to repent. Just as the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:4: “[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

The patient, living example of Dr. David Livingstone, a medical missionary who took the gospel to Africa, had such a powerful impact on Henry Stanley, who was sent in 1871 to track down the doctor, that he later became a Christian himself. Stanley marveled at the longsuffering attitude the doctor had toward the Africans he was sharing the gospel with. Stanley later wrote of Livingstone, “When I saw that unwearied patience, that unflagging zeal, and those enlightened sons of Africa, I became a Christian at his side, though he never spoke to me one word.”1

“LORD, help us to be patient like You this day with others who do not yet know You and give us words of life for them.”

1John F. MacArthur, Ephesians (Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1986), p. 127.