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Things that Are Certain in an Uncertain Life (10 of 11)
Planning without God is perilous. The people that James has in mind here are examples of the worldy-mindedness that James condemned in the previous section, 4:1-10. They are men who are making plans without God. It's not hard to see the attitude of presumption here. To presume is to take for granted, to undertake without clear justification, to act overconfidently.
Look at how these men presumed upon their own strength and wisdom.
- They presumed about time, "today or tomorrow."
- They presumed about their mobility, their ability to travel, "we will travel."
- They presumed about their location, "such and such a city."
- They presumed about their durability, "spend a year there."
- They presumed about their success, "do business and make a profit."
James was not condemning sound business practices. Even the church can benefit from sound business practices and we do. What he did indicate was that every plan should be submitted to God's sovereignty. Psalm 37:5 says, "Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will act."
Do you reflect on your life's goals and their relationship to God's will? Do you make business and family decisions based on what God wills for your life? Are your financial decisions made according to God's will?
James tells us why planning without God is perilous. Here are three things that are certain in an uncertain life.
1. We do not know the future (4:14a)
See Luke 12:16-21; Prov. 27:1. We might try to predict the future, but at best it's still an educated guess. Recently, some Italian scientists received prison terms for not warning the people of an impending earthquake, but "can they really be held responsible for not knowing the future?" People attempt to predict all kinds of events, hurricanes and the stock market being just two examples. When investing, there's usually the fine ...
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