Warning against Bragging
13 You should know better than to say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!” 14What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears. 15You should say, “If the Lord lets us live, we will do these things.” 16Yet you are stupid enough to brag, and it is wrong to be so proud. 17If you don't do what you know is right, you have sinned.
Our church is located in the heart of downtown where we are surrounded by business folks who spend a lot of time strategizing how to make a profit. It is a fair concern for that is their work. But, James reminds us that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Most people view this as a warning to be cautious for terrible things could happen tomorrow. The economy could fail again. Your health may take a turn for the worse. You might get released from your job. A family member may go sideways and require a great deal of help. Yet this is only one side of the coin in this word to us today.
As followers of Jesus we can also look forward to tomorrow. He can meet us in the morning with good news and hope. Jesus can change our circumstances and it can be a brand new day.
How many times do we go to sleep at night with mind traffic rehearsing all of our woes and fail to acknowledge that our Lord will meet us in the morning. Remember, he is at work even while we sleep.
Christians used to frequently say “if the Lord wills” when talking about the future. I think today we have become so worldly minded and surrounded by so many resources we tend to think it is all on our shoulders to resolve everything.
In parts of the world where the complexities of poverty leave people with literally nothing – they still look forward in anticipation to God bringing them into another day. The miracles that are experienced there are available to us wherever we live.
Let us receive this word in the light of a tomorrow which teaches us that God is in control, rather than with suspicion and dread towards the future.
God of eternity, as I alternate between the battles and blessings of life, help me to view the future by faith. Those things I know to be right, I want to do. Remind me that your everlasting purposes can guide and shape my temporal circumstances. In Jesus’ name, Amen.