Summary: These 7 principles have changed my life when it comes to trusting God for His best plan.
“7 Today Principles For Victory Tomorrow"
In a Peanuts cartoon strip, Charley Brown says to Linus, “Life is just too much for me. I’ve been confused from the day I was born. I think the whole trouble is that we’re thrown into life too fast. We’re not really prepared.” And then Linus says to Charlie Brown, “What did you want…a chance to warm up first?”
Some nuggets of wisdom that someone thought up…
- A day is a span of time no one is wealthy enough to waste.
- A day is a miniature eternity.
- The day will happen whether or not you get up.
- It’s the little things in life that really count.
- What good is a bathtub without a plug?
- He who provides for this life, but takes not care for eternity is wise for a moment but a fool for eternity.
1. The Folly of Counting on The Future. Vs. 13
A doctor called one of his patients into his office to deliver some very important news. "I have received the results of your tests and I have some bad news and some good news", said the doctor. The patient was quiet for a moment, sensing the severity of the announcement. "Let me have the good news first, doc", said the patient. The doctor took a deep breath and said, "You only have 24 hours to live." "Oh my goodness", shouted the patient, "If that’s the good news what could the bad news possibly be?" The doctor replied, "I was supposed to tell you yesterday."
This phrase, “now listen,” occurs only here in the Bible. James is saying, Come now, pay attention! It’s a pointed phrase that indicates the seriousness of what follows. It’s as if he is saying, “Come on now, you who are strutting around like you own the place.”
In your life, do you know anyone like this?
This is addressed to the wealthy merchants who traveled all over the ancient world, buying and selling in the major trade centers of that day. Because of the extensive shipping involved, it could easily take a year or more to set up a business. Their sin was not that they engaged in business, but that they were counting on the future, without any recognition of the God who controls the future.
Their business plan was pretty good. They had everything figured out or almost everything:
When: “today or tomorrow”
Where: “this or that city”
How: “spend a year”
What: “do business”
Why: “to make money”
In all their planning, they left out the most important the Who. God was nowhere in their plans. Like the rich farmer in the parable that Jesus told, who wanted to tear down his barns so he could build bigger ones, these businessmen were not bringing God into the details of their life.
Key: Planning is great, but planning without prayer is presumption.
Psalms 90:10 “ Seventy years are given to us! Some may even reach eighty, but even the best of these years are filled with pain and trouble.”
Our whole existence is a gift from God. From the day of our birth until the day of our death we are blessed with life!
2. The Frailty of Life. Vs. 14
These businessmen made no allowance for unforeseen circumstances because they mistakenly thought they were going to be around forever. None of us know what will happen in the future.
We are given two very significant reasons why we should never presume upon the future:
a. Life is unpredictable.
We don’t even know what will happen tonight, much less next week or next year. The truth is that no one can predict the future. Last Sunday morning at this time, no one could have guessed all that was going on with some of our members.
Count on it! Life is just one big if. Right in the middle of LIFE is IF.
Any way you look at it, life is pretty if-y.
Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
b. Life is unmeasurable.
Our lives are like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
The Greek word here is the word atmos, from which we get the word “atmosphere,” which is that invisible layer of water vapor that encircles our planet. Our lives are like a mist in the grand scheme of things. [Spray an aerosol can]
This life is compared in scripture as:
- The wind. Job 7:7
- A shadow. 1 Chronicles 29:5
- The width of a hand. Psalm 39:5
- A weaver’s web. Isaiah 38:12
- A vapor. James 4:4
Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”