How Long?

How Long?
By: J. B. Hixson, Ph.D.

My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—how long? (Psalm 6:3)

Have you ever wondered how long? David did. David’s soul was deeply troubled as he looked around him at the pervasive injustice and inequity in his day, and he cried out to God with the impassioned question, “O Lord, how long?” It is a natural question, and one that appears some eighteen times throughout the book of Psalms.

“O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever?” (Psalm 74:10) “How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?” (Psalm 82:2) “LORD, how long will the wicked, how long will the wicked triumph?” (Psalm 94:3) When we contemplate that same question today, it is nothing new. For centuries before Christ, God’s people often inquired about the seeming contradiction between God’s justice and the relative success of wicked people.

Why does God allow the wicked to go unpunished? Why doesn’t He supernaturally intervene and put an end to all the suffering and pain in the world? There’s only one answer: It is not time yet. The question “How Long?” contains within it an implicit reference to the answer. David understood that someday, God will intervene. He just wanted to know when? It is as if he was asking God, “Could you hurry up please? We are tired of all the pain and sorrow and suffering? Come on down and put an end to it, would you please? Soon. Today. Right now. Please?”

Rest assured, God has not forgotten His promise to bless good and punish evil. The wicked may prevail for a season. Yet, when Christ returns in all of His power and glory, then, and only then, will it all even out. In that day, the cries for vengeance that have echoed for millennia will be answered. In that day, it will be the wicked who cry out in futile desperation as they face Judgment Day unprepared and helpless. That day will be a time of unprecedented joy and peace for God’s people who have patiently endured the inequities of this life for a season. When Christ returns, “all of life’s question marks will become exclamation points” as God evens the score.

If you are a Christian, having placed your faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone to save you from the penalty of sin, then hang in there. God is in control. A better day is coming. If your soul is greatly troubled, you are not alone. Rest in the confidence that Christ is with you, God is still on the throne, and justice will prevail.

If you are not a Christian, today is the day of salvation. Now is the time to place your faith in Christ alone as the only one who can forgive your sin and give you the gift of eternal life. He died for your sins and rose again, and He offers to you the free gift of salvation if you will simply trust Him for it. We do not know how long we have before Judgment Day. Will you trust Him today?

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