Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. – 2 Peter 3:11-13
I love the Old Testament concept of hope. It includes the idea of waiting for and trusting in God. Think of it: if you hope in something, you wait for it. If you wait for something or someone you trust that your hopes will be fulfilled. If this is tied to waiting, hoping and trusting in God, it is well-founded. You will not be disappointed.
How quickly, however, we learn not to wait for, hope or trust in anything of this fallen world. We’ve been fooled too many times. From fake decoder rings or cereal prizes of days gone by, to people in authority abusing their position and taking advantage of the weak and vulnerable: we quickly learn not to hope. Hope is too dangerous when poorly placed. We’ve seen the sign: “Abandon all hope you who enter here.”
Peter points us to a life application quite different from abandoning all hope. His call is to live holy and godly lives waiting for the Great Last Day, hastening its coming. Peter points to a life of godliness as hastening the Day of the Lord. We see John praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” in Revelation 22:20. Jesus says that the Gospel will be preached “as a witness to the nations and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
This is the trifecta of true faith: Godly living, prayer, and evangelism. If we truly wish to see the Great Last Day, we will focus our energy toward those three key behaviors, and hold on to the hope we have in Christ, trusting his promises, and waiting for his return.