Devotional: James 4:13-17


James 4:13-17

  • (Jas 4:13 ESV) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”–
  • (Jas 4:14 ESV) yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
  • (Jas 4:15 ESV) Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
  • (Jas 4:16 ESV) As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
  • (Jas 4:17 ESV) So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.


It is in our nature to set a goal and celebrate reaching it.  Sometimes those are small things like getting the house cleaned.  Other times something larger like finishing school.  It is good and right for us to plan ahead and to be happy when our plans come to fruition, but that planning and celebration should also be measured within the bounds of God’s will.  When we plan we should be prayerfully planning in accordance to what God has for us and when we celebrate we should be reflecting all glory to Him, not ourselves.


That is hard isn’t it?  To look to God for the direction and for the glory.  These are both signs of our trust in Him and our realization of who He really is.  God is the sovereign creator and ruler of the universe.  His will is going to be done without question.  Our realization and our recognition of that help to move us in this path of seeking God first and celebrating God after.


What is one accomplishment in your life that you can easily credit to the hand of God moving?


How do you glorify God for that accomplishment?


What is something you really wanted and prayed for, but it never came to be?


Can you see looking back the goodness of God in not letting that come to pass?




Prayer is a special form of communication between God and His people enabled and guided by the Holy Spirit and meant to happen constantly. Following the example of Jesus, believers should pray for God’s glory, seeking God’s will and provision, confessing their sins and requesting forgiveness, and asking for direction from God.  When we pray we should approach the throne of God with confidence that He will meet all of our needs both physical and spiritual with our best interest at heart. In prayer, our ultimate desire is to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Psalm 34:15, Hebrews 4:16, Ecclesiastes 5:2, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Romans, 8:26, Acts 12:5, Acts 12:7, Philippians 4:6, Luke 11:2-13, Luke 18:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18-19, Matthew 6:5-8, Luke 22:39-44, John 15:7, 1 John 5:14, Isaiah 59:1, Luke 6:12, Luke 22:45-46, Colossians 4:2-3, Psalm 13:1-2, Psalm 22:2, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Matthew 14:35-36