“So the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from the trials and how to hold the wicked until the Day of Judgement while continuing to punish them” (2 Peter 2:9).
If you are like me, you may at times feel a sense of anguish thinking about all the evils in the world. You may also wonder why there is seemingly little to no penalty for their wrong-doings and that judgement is far off; all while innocent people continue to lose their lives and livelihood. I sometimes take comfort in reading the Psalms and being reminded this is nothing new. Though, that sense of comfort doesn’t last; both because of my desire for a perfect world and the next tragedy to hit the news.
Yeshua (Jesus) said, “In this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Still, we are dismayed when it happens. It is difficult to take our eyes off the the fire blazing around us. When we experience trouble, anxiety and worry tend to weigh us down. We pray and don’t see results – or the results we hope for. Our patience is tested and with it our faith. We read scripture and see many promises of safety for the righteous. Proverbs 19:23, for example, tell us “The fear of Adonai leads to life; one who has it is satisfied and rests untouched by evil”. The Apostle Peter tells us that “the Lord know how to rescue the godly” and the Psalm 103:6 says “Adonai brings vindication and justice to all who are oppressed”.
Do you believe these promises? Are you able to see beyond the flames of testing that surround us and trust that God is fulfilling his promises? Peter said that “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise” but that “he is patient with you” (2 Peter 3:9). The writer of the Proverbs tells us that “Adonai made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of disaster” (Proverbs 16:4).
Why am I writing this? With everything happening in the world today it is possible to fall in the camp of those who say “Where is this promised coming of his?” (2 Peter 3:4). The real question is, do you believe? It is not in our power to discard any part of scripture as false; whether you want to believe or not. Scripture tells us that “the entirety of [God’s] word is true” (Psalm 119:160) and that God’s word is truth (John 17:17). God also demonstrates his power and will to fulfill his promises to us. Scripture is filled with these examples from the very first sacrifice to atone for the sin Adam and Eve committed to the final deliverance in Revelation. While he may not choose to pull us from the fiery furnace, he has to power to rescue us from harm as we walk through it; just as he did for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Daniel 3).
We do not understand all God’s ways and the little he allows us to see is often overwhelming and difficult to grasp. There are many things that we cannot explain but the nature of human beings is to seek answers and apply a cause to everything. We mock what we don’t understand and is impatient with what we have no control over. Peter himself new what it is like to shrink in the face of tribulation; and he was in Yeshua’s presence. The world is in anguish, but that these things are happening should not surprise. Wars, rumors or wars, inflation, lawlessness, deception, and false teachings should not surprise us but they should trouble us. However, in the same way that these are the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, so too are the promises. Do you Believe? Yes, there is a fire blazing and is closing in on all of us. Do you believe? We are at risk of losing what we value most. Do you believe?
We must hold firm to our faith! Peter encouraged us to “lead holy and godly lives” and “following along with his promise, wait for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness will be at home” (2 Peter 3:11,13).