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May 25 – The patience of God 

“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 3:9 

Scripture reading: Psalm 130:1-8

When God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham ‘argued’ God down to not doing so if just ten righteous persons could be found in the cities. These were extremely wicked cities! This is an illustration of God’s patience with sinners.

He is able to be patient and merciful because He has dealt with our sins by putting them on His Son, and punishing Him, on the cross. This is the glorious gospel! It is why God is free to not treat us as our sins deserve and to remember our sins no more.

We might wonder, though, how this verse relates to the doctrine of election. For, if God has only chosen some to salvation, then how does that stack up with the statement here that He does not wish that “any should perish, but that all should reach repentance”? Well, notice who it is that Peter is speaking to. It says that God is “patient toward you.” And who are you? 2 Peter is addressed to those “who have obtained a faith of equal standing with [the Apostles].” In other words, Peter addressed his letter to believers, to all God’s elect, including those who had not yet been born. So, this verse is not saying that God really wants every single person to repent, but that the return of Christ will only come when all those whom God has chosen to salvation have come to repentance and faith, and not a day before!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for His electing mercies. Pray that He would soon bring the full number of His elect ones to faith in Christ.

Rev. Andre Holtslag is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana (2007). At the present time he serves the Reformed Church of Avondale, which is in the city of Auckland, New Zealand, and is one of the Reformed Churches in New Zealand (RCNZ). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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