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
God sometimes postpones answering prayers. He doesn’t do this in order to destroy or abandon his people. Instead, he does it to fulfill his promises even more generously. Paul tells us that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). Therefore, God wants us to wait patiently during the delay, trusting with certainty that he will give us even more than he has promised.
Human nature makes us so overconfident and wicked that we distrust God’s promise and ignore his threats. Because punishment doesn’t come right away, we don’t take God’s warnings seriously. Foolish people hear that sin will bring judgment and punishment, but they just brush it off and say, “That won’t happen for a long time. I wish I had lots of money to count in the meantime.” But God wants us to fear his warnings and wait for his promises to be fulfilled. Of course, that can be done only if we have faith.
People of the world couldn’t care less about God’s warnings. They take his warnings about as seriously as a goose hissing at them. But God is patient. He postpones both fulfilling his promises and carrying out his threats. That doesn’t mean he’s lying. God will eventually punish the wicked and shower even greater and richer blessings on the faithful because of the delay. But in the end, he will certainly come.
Unbelievers don’t fear God, don’t believe in him, don’t hope in him, and don’t even care about him. Believers, on the other hand, pay attention to God’s warnings and trust his promises.
In the late afternoon of April 18, 1521, in the city of Worms, Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history, that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world. In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms; Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.