But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. - 2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)
Peter includes the above passage in his discourse concerning the coming day of the Lord. He is basically reminding his target audience to remember the Word of Truth given them through the prophets and the apostles. He also reminds them that there would be scoffers who would try to dispute the truth by proclaiming that God had been unfaithful to fulfill His promise to His people. (See 2 Peter 3:4)
As you read through this passage you see Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming once again the truth of God’s plan for the salvation of man. He does so by reminding them that they must not grow impatient with God’s fulfillment of His plan because time is literally in His hands. Who else can say that a day is as a thousand years or vice versa but Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth?
Also, Peter declares that the seemingly slowness to act by God is really His patience not with us but for us. God’s withholding the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is so that more individuals will have the opportunity to repent from their sin and turn to Him.
One of the greatest truths of God’s Word is stated here in my opinion. Listen again to His Word through Peter, “Not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” WOW!!! What a wondrous truth about the love of our heavenly Father for a world of lost sinners. Reminds me of the words of Christ to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Remember also what Paul stated to the Christians in Rome, “But God demonstrated His great love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The American Folk Hymn expresses God’s love in this way:
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
When you read this passage from 2 Peter, you find not only the patience of God for the sake of a world of lost sinners. But you also see a sense of urgency and expectation for those of us who are His children to share His love faithfully as we anticipate His glorious return. He reminds that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, just like the coming of a thief in the night. So while living with the expectancy of his immanent return, we must count the patience of the Lord as Salvation and continue to faithfully proclaim that JESUS SAVES!!!