Jesus, calm my heart as I come before You now. Quiet my spirit in Your presence.
Read James 4:13–17
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you experience regular anxiety about the future?
Yesterday we learned about submitting ourselves to God in order to overcome the desires that lead us into conflict (7). Today we learn that we are also to submit our plans for the future to God.
In an uncertain world, too often we obsess about making ourselves “safe,” or self-sufficient, often by gathering wealth (13). All of us like to think that we are in control of our lives, and money can make us feel “safe.” Jesus warns us: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions,” and finishes with the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13–21), whereupon a wealthy man stores up great wealth but dies that night.
Today’s passage underlines the essential uncertainty of the future. And yet this fact should not leave us fearful or frantically accumulating wealth as though making money is life’s only
objective. Instead this uncertainty is a reason for accepting and realizing our complete
dependence on God. Of course we are to be prudent with our money, but ultimately we are to
commit the future and all of our plans into the hands of God. In our frailty, we need to
remember our utter dependence on him, remembering also that “Every good and perfect gift is
from above” (Jas. 1:17).
Meditate on James 1:17. Commit your future and your plans to God.
Sovereign Lord, I trust You to have Your way in me. Direct my life as You see fit and teach me to follow.
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