God is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.
In 2 Peter 3:8 we read: “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
At times we can think of God being eternal as meaning that he has just always existed. This is true.
But what this verse indicates that is that God relates to time entirely differently to the way you and I do.
We travel through time and all at the same rate. Once an hour is gone, we can never get it back. C. S. Lewis once said: “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
We are also limited in how much we can do in time. We can’t take in much more than about four or five hundred words every minute. We can’t run further than about 10 or perhaps 20 km in an hour. I find that I can never read enough books in the time I have.
God, however, doesn’t relate to time like we do. He isn’t constrained by it. He can pay attention to every detail that is occurring in just one second and pick up everything that is going on. But He is also full of patience because He sees accomplishing His purpose over the course of a thousand years as being like doing it in a day. God never runs out of time.
God’s eternity points us to these truths. And it all makes sense when we realise that Time itself is a created thing. God created the evening and the morning and the day and placed us as limited creatures within a linear unfolding of time.
Louis Berkhof defines God’s eternity like this: “that perfection of God whereby He is elevated above all temporal limits and all succession of moments, and possesses the whole of His existence in one indivisible present.”
In 2 Peter 3, Peter points to this attribute of God to comfort us that God will always keep His promises. We may become impatient waiting for God to do what He says He will do. We need to realise that God isn’t in a rush, He isn’t sleeping, He isn’t slow. God will keep His promises – He won’t run out of time. He is eternal.
– Tom Eglinton