September 24, 2009

Planning the Future With God

James 4:13-17

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


It happened without warning. Ten minutes before the start of a Thanksgiving Day service in our church a 53-year-old member leaned toward his wife and put his head on her shoulder. He died shortly afterward.

This startling event was a stark reminder of what James talks about when he says our life is like “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

When James wrote these words, he did not intend to frighten us or keep us from planning for tomorrow. He simply wanted to remind us of the uncertainty of life as we make our plans.

Instead of saying, “I’m going to do this or that,” says James, we ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” We have to make our plans with God’s will in mind because we don’t know how much time is left for us.

The person in our church who died so unexpectedly had lived his life with God. When we live our lives with God and chart our lives in the assurance that only God can fulfill our plans, we can live each day in eager anticipation.

James calls us to make our plans with God, always realizing that even though we may plan our course, it is the Lord who establishes our steps (see Proverbs 16:9). Then we will live life to the fullest.

Lord, our God, help us to live in the awareness that you are the one who determines the outcome of our lives and that you alone hold our future. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!