James 4:13-17

Today's Passage: James 4:13-17

Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:15

In his book, Trusting God, author Jerry Bridges begins a chapter on the sovereignty of God with this story:

In the year 1902, a young English boy came down to breakfast to find his father reading the newspaper, which carried news of preparations for the first coronation in Britain in sixty-four years. In the middle of breakfast the father turned to his wife and said, “Oh, I am sorry to see this worded like that.” She said, “What is it?” “Why,” he replied, “here is a proclamation that on a certain date Prince Edward will be crowned king at Westminster and there is no Deo volente, God willing.” The words stuck in the young boy’s mind for the very reason that on the appointed date the future Edward VII was ill with appendicitis and the coronation had to be postponed.

At this time, at the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, the political, economic, and military power of the British Empire was at its zenith. Yet for all its great might, Great Britain could not carry out its planned coronation on the appointed date.

Was the omission of “God willing” from the proclamation and the subsequent postponement of the coronation merely a coincidence, two events without any relation to one another? Or did God cause Prince Edward to have appendicitis to show that He was “in control”? We don’t know why the situation occurred as it did. One thing we do know, however: whether we acknowledge it with Deo volente or not, we cannot carry out any plan apart from God’s will.

A few weeks ago, we finished reading through Ecclesiastes together on Jumpstart. Throughout the book, we saw over and over that nothing in life is guaranteed.

This passage in the book of James is another reminder that you are not guaranteed your next breath, let alone tomorrow. Our lives are completely under the hand of a God who is both good and sovereign, and therefore worthy of our trust.

So, let us live our lives with both the freedom and acknowledgement that God is the one who is in control, and that everything he does is for our good and the purpose of making us more like Christ.

Written By: Graham Withers

1 Comment

Lindsay - November 11th, 2022 at 10:00am

Resting in God's sovereignty and will is complete freedom. What a great story and example, Graham!

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