How Long?

Read: 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:10

. . . the time is near. (Revelation 1:3)

Picture the cartoon of a bearded guy in a robe walking along the sidewalk holding a sign that proclaims: “The End Is Near!” Well, the end is near. John wrote that more than 1,900 years ago. You call that near? It depends on what you mean by “near.” God’s definition of near isn’t the same as ours: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness” (2 Peter 3:8-9).

And it depends on what you mean by “time.” The world is playing in overtime. We can’t see the clock, but we know it can’t be long. But our own personal time is also near. Whether it’s days or years or decades, whatever time remains for you or me will pass swiftly. John has much to say in this book about the need for believers to be faithful and endure in the face of trials or persecution. Here at the outset he reminds us it won’t have to be for long.

The souls of the saints in heaven cry out to God, “How long . . . ?” (Rev. 6:10). The souls of saints on earth often wonder the same. How long must I grieve? When will my suffering be over? How long until my prayers are answered? “Ten days,” says Jesus (Rev. 2:10). It’s a “light momentary affliction,” said Paul (2 Cor. 4:17). Rest assured, said John; “The time is near.” —David Bast

As you pray, remember: it’s not long till the day of the Lord.

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.