We began this series of articles by affirming that time was a creation of God in which His purpose could be revealed. Writing to Timothy, Paul reflects upon the fact that there is a schedule and an inevitable certainty to its fulfilment.
God works to His own timetable. Because this is frequently not what impatient man would like it to be, we often long to see things brought about more rapidly. An example of this is the imploring cry of the psalmist to ‘save now … send now’ (Psalm 118:25). However, our God is not bound to move at our behest, though at times He may deign to respond with prompt action to His people’s prayers.
Because God does not always immediately intervene as men would wish, some people give way to doubt. We can interpret what we perceive as a delay in a number of ways. The sceptic will read into it that God has reneged upon His stated intentions. The scoffer sniggers ‘where is the promise of His coming? … all things continue as they were from the beginning’ (2 Peter 3:4). In our frustration, we may be prone to repeat Habakkuk’s lament, ‘how long shall I cry and thou wilt not hear?’ (Habakkuk 1:2). Either attitude is understood as unwarranted once we appreciate that God works ‘in His times’.
What can be relied upon is that ‘He shall shew’ His ultimate purpose. Just as God Himself, being eternal in His character, is not affected by the processes of time, so too His purpose is not derailed by the passing of time. A realisation of this will enable us endure: ‘For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise’ (Hebrews 10:36).
"Just as God Himself, being eternal in His character, is not affected by the processes of time, so too His purpose is not derailed by the passing of time."
The Bible asserts that God ‘worketh all things after the counsel of His own will’ (Ephesians 1:11). That will ultimately express itself in the ‘dispensation of the fullness of times', when He will ‘gather together in one all things in Christ Jesus’ (Ephesians 1:10).
Far from heading nowhere, as men would suggest, the course of history is clearly predefined. The blessed assurance for the believer is that, having a part in that plan, we can say ‘my times are in thy hand’ (Psalm 31:15).