“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9) In the context of this verse, some mockers were suggesting that God was not keeping His word. Peter tells them and us that 1) God’s word has always been powerful and faithful (verses 5-7); 2) God is not ruled by time as mankind is (verse 8); and 3) God is longsuffering.
“Longsuffering” literally means “long-tempered” and it suggests that God is not hasty to retaliate or punish. The verse above indicates that the mockers should have been thankful that the prophesied judgment had not yet come upon them. If it had they would have been destroyed already. But God is longsuffering.
God doesn’t hastily punish because He wants people to repent of their sins. It is not God’s desire that anyone perish. People will perish because they continue in rebellion against God in spite of His longsuffering.
Verse 10 of the chapter begins to tell that, even though God is longsuffering, the judgment that God has promised will come to pass. Peter says that people who realize this should prepare by living godly and holy lives.
Verse 15 says, “And account that the longsuffering of God is salvation…” Rather than God’s patient forbearance of mankind being viewed as a failure on His part, it should be viewed as the reason that we have any opportunity at all to be saved from our sins.