Updated: Aug 18
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. (James 4:13-14 ESV)
In the verse above, James tells us about a group of Christians who set out on making plans. They are going about their life and planning out their future. Their plans are to go into a city, spend some time there, and to make a profit for themselves. There is nothing wrong with earning an income. We as Christians are given a responsibility to take care of our families, to not be idle or busybodies but to work. “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living." (2 Thess. 3:10-12)
However for these Christians, the issue is not in their planning or even setting out to make a profit. Their issue is they had put their trust and confidence in themselves. They had made their plans without considering the Lord and His purposes. David says in (Ps. 37:5) “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act."
How often do we set out on making our plans without considering the Lord and His purposes? It can be easy to do. Our lives become busy, rushed and full of things we must get done. In the busyness of life we can rush off on our day or even in our plans for the future without consideration of the Lord. We can find ourselves in motion without much thought.
James reminds us of how uncertain our future is, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.” This is true, is it not? Even in our best plans, things often come up that are unexpected. Our lives are full of surprises. Our trust, our confidence and our plans are to be in the Lord. Life is quick, it is short, it is as James says a “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” As Christians, our dependence is to be in Christ--our plans made according to His purposes.
We cannot let life become so busy that we forget our purpose. Let us commit our days, our tomorrows, and our years before the Lord. Let us trust in Him even more so than our best plans.