A man asked God how long a million years was to him. God replied, “It’s just like a single second of your time, my child.” So the man asked, “And what about a million dollars?” The Lord replied, “To me, it’s just like a single penny.” So the man gathered himself up and said, “Well, Lord, could I have one of your pennies?” And God said, “Certainly, my child, just a second.” (Illustrations Unlimited)
God’s time is much different than our time. That’s because God is eternal. In other words, God has always existed in the past and he will always exist in the future. There has never been and there never will be a time when God does not exist. He was, is, and always will be God, according to his Word.
The Apostle Paul declared, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17, New American Standard Bible, NASB). Moses prayed, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born, or thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God,” (Psalm 90:1-2, NASB). The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable,” (Isa. 40:28, NASB).
God’s time is such a contrast to ours. We are mortal; he is immortal. For us, time begins from the time of conception. We develop and grow in our mother’s womb until we come forth and take our first breath. From that time on, we live until we die (Psa. 146:4; Heb. 9:27). God, who created us, developed us, and nurtured us never began that way since he has always existed in time. (see Gen. 2:7; Psalm 139:13-16; Isa. 45:12, 18).
God created our time as we know it. The Bible begins by saying, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” (Gen. 1:1). He made the sun, moon, and stars by which we measure our time (Gen. 1; Isa. 45:18). In fact, after each day of his creation it says, “And there was evening and there was morning….”
So, in God’s time we are provided times and seasons in which we can live according to the blessings he provides (Job 38). This is important to always remember for all throughout our lives the eternal God is ready to rescue us in time of need. Moses stated, “There is none like the God of Jeshurun [Israel], who rides the heavens to your help, and through the skies in his majesty. The eternal God is dwelling place [refuge], and underneath are the everlasting arms; and he drove out the enemy from before you, and said, ‘Destroy!’” (Deut. 32:26-27). We are reassured that God will always be there to provide victory whenever we’re confronted with threats of defeat by the enemy, even sin, itself.
God uses time to give us an opportunity to change and improve our lives. And for that reason, he is patient by allowing us enough time to be transformed in preparation for receiving eternal salvation. The Apostle Peter wrote, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, (2 Pet. 3:8).
Since time is meaningless in relation to God’s nature, he does not operate according to our time table. The all-wise and perfect God can take all the time he wants until his plans are accomplished precisely at the time he sees fit. For example, God knows the exact day and hour when Jesus will come again (Mark 13:32). And toward the end of the forty days after he was resurrected, the disciples inquired if this was the time God will restore the kingdom to Israel (Cp. Acts 1:6-7) Jesus said it was not for them to know but to expect God’s power to come upon them so that the work would continue until that glorious time comes (v. 8).
In the meantime, we have to let God work in his own time and according to his own manner (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). As Christians who are striving each day to follow him, sometimes we have to put with those who mock us for preparing for the day of his coming. For this reason, the Apostle Peter reminded the church, “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation,’” (2 Pet. 3:3-4). Peter’s response was to point out that God WILL send his Son in due time but he is patiently dealing with humankind now by giving everyone time to repent and change their ways: “The Lord is not slack about his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance,” (2 Pet. 3:9).
And yet, we do not want to take God’s patience for granted. A time will come when his patience will wear thin, he will draw the line, send Jesus to earth, and judgment day will come (2 Pet. 3:10-13). So, Peter exhorts, “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation….” (v. 14).
Living under God’s time is a privilege for believers. Yet, it’s also a responsibility. We use it to grow in his knowledge and truth. We submit to it under the discipline of obedience. And we spend it toward getting ready for that eternal age to come, when all believers are given immortality to be with the Lord forever. (Mark 13:35-37; 1 Thess. 4:16-18)
Living under God ‘s time also takes faith as we await that wonderful Day (James 1:5-6). When prayers seem to go unanswered, when life is filled with disappointment, and we’re faced with sorrow, it is natural to question God’s time. We ask, Why doesn’t God do something, NOW? We can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. But God can see it because he is eternal. He is the One we can trust to make all things better in his own time.
Here are the Maranatha! Singers singing, “In His Time”: http://youtu.be/URdDVDA0WwQ
Good News to YOU!