The Lord Is Not Slack Concerning His Promises
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward." (2 Peter 3:9a)
Have you ever heard the phrase "You have my word"? or "You have my word on it"? That means that the person speaking is making a promise based on his or her own track record. If a very honest person tells you he will take care of something for you, saying, "you have my word on it," then that means you can trust him. He is telling the truth. If a very careful person tells you she will be on time for a meeting, saying, "You have my word, I'll be there," then she wants you to know you can trust her to be at the meeting on time.
The kind of people whose word you can trust – they are the ones you can count on. They are faithful. They are dependable. Usually, they will not let you down.
Why do we add usually to that sentence? Well, even the most faithful human beings are still only human. They make mistakes. They forget. They get stopped by circumstances that are out of their control. And they sin. If you leave your backpack with an honest person, he still might not be able to stop a robber from stealing it. If you are counting on a reliable friend to be exactly on time for a Saturday morning meeting, she may not be able to come at all. What if her alarm doesn't go off and she accidentally oversleeps? Or what if her family decides at the last minute to go out of town for the weekend? Even the most faithful people might let you down sometimes. Humans can only be trustworthy to a certain point.
But the Lord is not like us. If He promises something in His Word, we definitely have His Word on it! And nothing can stop God from doing what He plans to do. No traffic jam or robber or change of human plans can mess up God's plans. God never forgets. He never sins. He never changes His mind about whether He cares about His people enough to keep His Word to them.
Is there a promise that you think God has made you but not kept? He may not keep that promise exactly the way you want Him to, and He may not carry that promise out exactly when you wanted Him to. But He is not slack (lazy) concerning His promises. He may be taking a long time, but He will always finish what He says He will do. Often, He waits because He wants to show us mercy. (Some of God's promises are about punishing stubborn sinners, and He is giving them a longer time to repent and turn to Him.)
When the Lord gives His Word, we can always count on Him. He will never let us down.
The Lord is always faithful to keep His Word.
» Am I the kind of person who people think of as "faithful" and "trustworthy"?
» Do I think rightly about the Lord's faithfulness and trust Him to keep His Word?
» How can I show others that I am trusting and obeying a faithful God?
Truth In Real Life
“I esteem it the duty of every Christian to seek the advancement of the cause of Christ more truly than they are wont to their own favorite objects.”
Marcus Whitman, who became a famous pioneering medical missionary, was born in New York on September 4, 1802. He was just 7 years old when his father died. Whitman wanted to become a doctor and a missionary. Unable to decide between the two, he chose both! He felt called of God to go to the West – states such as Montana and Idaho were just being developed – and he wanted to take the Gospel to those who had never heard.
One weekend, he met a woman named Narcissa Prentiss who wanted to travel to the West as a missionary but was unable to go because she was single. He agreed to marry her that weekend – and together, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman became one of the most famous missionary teams in history.
In 1836, the Whitmans, along with a group of other missionaries, joined a caravan of fur traders traveling to the West. They traveled farther west than any American group had traveled before, setting up several Christian missions and sharing the Gospel as they went.
Whitman built missions, led Christian meetings, and served as a doctor. Narcissa ran her household, helped her husband, and taught school. Along with being used by God to share the Gospel, the Whimans became famous for leading the first party of wagon trains along the Oregon Trail. Thousands of immigrants followed in their footsteps to make the West what it is today.
Sadly, the Whitmans and their motives were misunderstood. They ended up being killed by the same people they had desired to help and tried so hard to reach. But God used them to spread His Gospel and to encourage pioneer missionary workers in the future.
Courage can be contagious. Do you have the courage to serve God and to do what it takes to advance His cause? Do you think His Gospel is worth giving your life to share?
Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.