Does it really matter how much we achieve in this life? In the grand scheme of things, in all eternity, this life is only a tiny moment. As long as we stay on the road God has placed before us, we should be traveling in the right direction. Once we reach our final destination, this life will have been erased from our memory.
“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14 (NIV)
We can make all kinds of plans, and establish grandiose goals, but in the end God will take charge and decide the outcome. I’m certainly not implying we should be lazy and do nothing, I’m simply saying we need to accept, and in fact rejoice over, any and all results – good or bad – since they are all part of God’s plan.
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” James 4:13 (NIV)
Setting goals and making plans is important. Equally important is the notion that God is in charge and He is the ultimate arbitrator of your success or failure. Whatever happens is God’s will and for that we should always be thankful as we wait for His final determination.
“You ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:15-16 (NIV)
We need to seek God’s input before we do anything. We do this by reading the Bible, talking with other believers, through prayer, and through guidance from respected teachers. If we remain in constant contact with God in this way, most decisions will be easy to make. More complex plans will take additional time to uncover God’s guidance. However, even with carefully considered planning, things can take an unexpected turn. What is unexpected to us is no surprise to God. Sometimes, what seems like failure to us is God’s intended lesson for our future success. Our life in this world is a journey to eternity – it will be filled with highs and lows – only when Jesus returns will our ultimate success be fully realized. We wait with awesome anticipation.
“Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” James 5:8 (NIV)
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