From James 4:13-17. MISTAKE #2: PRESUMING ABOUT TOMORROW. v. 14 & 16 “Why you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.” There are a couple reasons we shouldn’t presume about the future and assume that we’ve got tomorrow.
1) Life is unpredictable “you don’t even know”. None of us know what’s going to happen tonight much less next year. All we can do is make guesses. Life is so unpredictable. A war could start, the economy could tank, your friends could leave you. None of us know what’s going to happen in life. Life is so unpredictable. Many of you work on commission, or you are self-employed. You go from feast to famine in your income. One day it’s great and the next day it’s the pits. You don’t have any assurance. There is no guarantee of perpetual success. None of us do. Realize that you can’t presume on tomorrow.
We shouldn’t let that frighten us, that life is uncertain. Don’t worry about it or be afraid. Just let it cause you to trust God more. Let it cause you to be more dependent on God. You don’t know what’s going to happen in your life or your business. It just forces you to trust God more. Life is unpredictable.
2) Life is brief. “you are a mist” “Mist” in Greek is “atmos” where we get the word “atmosphere”. Your life is like fog; it rolls in, in the morning but it burns off by noon. Who knows how long we’re going to live? None of us do. How does the Bible describe your life? It uses phrases like a leaf, grass, shadow, cloud, puff of smoke, vapor. I’m only one heartbeat away from eternity. I don’t know how long I’m going to live. Life is short. It goes so fast from hot wheels to wheelchair. Diapers – Dignity – Decay. Life’s brief. Watch out and don’t presume you have the rest of your life. Don’t take tomorrow for granted.
Isaiah 56:12 says “`Come,’ each one cries, `…Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even better!'” Do you know anybody with that kind of attitude? Life is great! Let’s party! Let’s get drunk! Bring on the beer! The person who has the attitude – we’re going to live forever. James says that’s a dumb attitude toward life. You can’t presume that tomorrow is going to be just the same as today. You can’t presume that you’re going to live to be 100. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” This was the very first bible verse I ever memorized. I was having my QT, reading through the book of Proverbs, and this verse popped out at me. God brought it to my attention. God has brought this verse to my mind and heart hundreds of times over the past 39 years of following Him.
We love to announce our plans, to make our goals and declare them. Next year I’m going to double my income! Next year I’m going to take over three territories! Announcing a goal can either be a statement of faith or it can be a statement of arrogance. What makes the difference? Your motive. Why are you saying what you’re saying? God says it’s great to have goals but check in with Me first. Let me share with you what I think your goals ought to be. Don’t presume on tomorrow.
What’s the solution? Matthew 6:34 (LB) “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow — God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” Live one day at a time, that’s how God says to face the future. The future could be overwhelming but fortunately it comes in bite-size pieces, a 24-hour segment at a time. Plan for the future but you can only live now. I can’t live the future, I can only live today. Plan for the future but take advantage of the present. “Life is what happens to us while we’re planning something else.” We’re always planning what’s going to happen in January and miss Christmas. Don’t let this be you. Tomorrow, mistake #3 we make when planning for the future.