“If God wills…”


    Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”     As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.    —James 4:13-16 ESV

What’s wrong with presuming upon tomorrow? What’s wrong is that it does not remember the truth that life is a mist that vanishes, and it does not recognize the truth that God governs the length of our lives.  We have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

But there is a deeper problem here, more than just bad theology. Look further at verse 16:

“But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”

The deeper problem is arrogance or pride, and that is expressed in  “boasting.”

“Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”

James calls this boasting, arrogant boasting.

But it is arrogant not to believe that ultimately our sovereign God governs how long we live and what we accomplish. “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

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