Today or Tomorrow
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil” (James 4:13-16).
Please notice with me three very important points that James made in this passage.
1) We do not know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14). In fact we do not what will happen the rest of this day. Life can change quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Life is uncertain and unpredictable. So, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).
2) Our life is but a vapor (James 4:14). In other words, our physical life upon this earth is very, very brief. “For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:9-10). The prayer of Moses concludes by saying, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v. 12).
3) “If the Lord wills…” (James 4:15). We must always live our lives with the Lord’s will in mind. God is in control, not you and not me. Making plans is not wrong. We all make plans. However, making plans without God at the center of them is very foolish. That’s exactly what Jesus’ point was in His parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21). We are but flesh and blood. Dust, and to dust we shall return. How foolish then for us to boast of our big plans tomorrow or a year from now. “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
While it is true that we do not know what will happen tomorrow, death and judgment are certain (Hebrews 9:27). And yes, life upon earth is short, but the next life will be forever. Will you be spending eternity in heaven or hell (Matt. 7:21-23)? And finally, are you presently making your plans with God in them or out of them? All of which begins with obeying HIS plan of salvation (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38). “Today or tomorrow…” You may not have today or tomorrow!