Daily Devotional

James 4:14b

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Some may look at James’ words here and think they are little nihilistic, but when read in context they are a reminder of how relatively short our lives on earth are, and how foolish it is for us to make our plans apart from God. When viewed in the context of eternity, it’s true that our lives on earth are indeed short, but they are not meaningless. They are filled with purpose given to us by our Creator.

When I hear someone say “life is short” I don’t hear it as a discouraging thought, but more of as a challenge. I should preface that last statement by saying that I am a pretty competitive person. I’m the youngest of five children and growing up we would often create our own games and see who could get the highest score. That high score then became a challenge for us to try to beat. Oftentimes, a new high score would seem insurmountable; that is until someone surpassed it. At that point, all of us knew it was possible to overcome that challenge. That’s one of the many benefits of Scripture; we can see a litany of people who were human and fallen like us and yet lived up to the challenge of living for God.

When we consider the fact that the number of our days are determined (Job 14:5) but also consider that God has already prepared good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), it makes sense to utilize each of our numbered days for Him and His Kingdom. This won’t always be easy, but that’s why we are told to daily pick up our cross and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). Each day presents us with a new challenge; to live for ourselves or to live for God. This is a challenge we can rise to, not in our own strength but in His strength.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.