Summary: Can you measure a "little while"? Your idea of that time frame may be different than what God considers.
A Little While
¶ A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
I. God looks at things through the eyes of Eternity
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Ps. 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
God deals with matters in the context of eternity.
If you are not careful, you will try to define a "little while" according to your timetable. Then it becomes problematic, because you think that God is not keeping His promises or answering your prayers.
II. The Sinner and the Backslider Need to be Concerned about the "Little While"
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away
Ecclesiastes tells us that because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, the heart of men is set to do evil. They fail to understand that God will judge in His time.
III. The Believer Ought to be live in Hope about the "Little While"
1 Co. 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Very little while. The prophet preached that only firm confidence in God could enable a righteous man to confront life's difficulties. Here the writer of this epistle quotes from Habakkuk (2:3,4) in order to strengthen the faith of his readers. He says in effect: As faith in God was necessary in the prophet's time, so it is now; but you have the hope of the near coming of Christ to help you to remain stedfast.
Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.
*That is, in respect to the promise, which is perpetual: even though they had now possessed the land of Canaan for 1400 years: and thus they lament, to move God rather to remember his covenant, than to punish their sins.
We see how the term "little while" is relative. At this moment, 1400 years seems to be just a smidgin of time.
In times of great stressfulness, a few hours can seem like an eternity.
IV. Hang in there. Your Trial is about to turn to Joy!
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a (little) while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
Re 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
V. Take Advantage of What Time you have Remaining
Lk. 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.