Daily Devotional Saturday 5th December 2020

by William Moody

James 4:13–17

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 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”—14 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. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.


Pride in regards the future is not only a dangerous but a very foolish thing (v13-14). Our lives do not rest in our own hands. Maybe today we’re doing well and making a lot of money but all material things including our health rest in the hands of God and can be taken away in an instant. Life is very fragile. James teaches that life is like a mist which is here for a moment but then disappears so quickly.

We can all think of people whose lives were taken away so suddenly. They started their final day like any other day not knowing that this would be their last. It should cause each of us to be humble and cautious about how we speak of the future.

James teaches us that we should look to the future with the words ‘If it is the Lord’s will’ attached to all our plans (v15). This is an acknowledgment that it is God who holds our future in His hands and He can do with us as He pleases.

Boasting about the future James teaches not only is foolish but also very evil as it is suggesting we’re in control of our own futures (v16).

James mentions it being sinful to fail to do the good that we ought (v17) because it seems that people were busy talking about the future instead of being faithful to the Lord in their behaviour now.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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