“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” (2 Peter 3:9-10).

Right now, the world is in frightening disorder. God warns his faithful ones so that when sudden disaster strikes, they are not swept away with fear. God’s people must know that whatever happens, it is not an accident or a random act. They are to have the peace of Christ in their hearts, knowing that God is still master of the universe. In this way, they will have been warned and they won’t panic when other men’s hearts fail them for fear.

Many Christians might cringe when they read the message Peter delivers, and inside they might wonder, “Why do we have to be reminded of this? There’s so much bad news and stress already.”

Peter went on to say, “Since you know this beforehand, beware [be on your guard] lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:17-18).

Paul also preached: “Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

Considering these two apostles’ messages, what might we expect the word to be for a society about to be judged in our time? We find that word coming from Paul and it is directed to Christ’s beloved: “My prayer for you is that you pursue intimacy, grow in spiritual understanding, and walk worthy of Christ” (Colossians 1:9-10, paraphrase).

What is required for such a pleasing walk? Paul tells us: “As the chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another and forgive one another, whoever has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you forgive” (see Colossians 3:12-13).

Examining your walk with Christ means looking not so much at what you are doing but rather at what you are becoming. Peter and Paul are both saying, “Don’t fear what is ahead. Keep God’s Word in remembrance at all times, through all things. And meanwhile, let the Holy Spirit make you into a different, more Christlike person.”