February 21, 2014

Our Will or God's?

James 4:13-16

You ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
—James 4:15


Sooner or later we are all faced with life situations that go be-yond our control. Whether it’s a sickness, tension in a relationship or at work, loss of a job, or advancing age, we come to realize that we have no ability to control the outcome. We must simply be patient and, as is often said, “live one day at a time.” Though we usually learn this lesson later in life, it might be helpful to learn it far earlier.

Learning that we have no control over our lives, however, may not necessarily help us. It could simply lead us to despair that nothing will ever turn out. “What’s the use of even trying?” we might ask.

But James gives Christian pilgrims the way to move forward with assurance: praying that God’s will be done.

Jesus taught his disciples this important principle in the Lord’s Prayer, highlighting that his followers can ask that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Jesus also prayed that God’s will would be done through his own death for our sake. In paying for our sin, Jesus marked a path for us through death to eternal life so that we can walk with the assurance of God’s presence and guidance now and always.

Are you seeking God’s kingdom and walking in his will, even when you cannot control your circumstances?

All-powerful God, if my plans for this day are not in line with your will, please correct my path by your Word and Spirit. May I give glory to you today and every day. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema

Jason Zuidema lives in Repentigny, Quebec, with his wife, Anna, and their three children. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and currently serves as executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association. He is the author of a special Seafarers edition of Today devotions published by ReFrame Media in 2012.

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