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Lord Willing

Read: James 4:13-17

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. (Prov. 27:1)

When I was growing up, it was customary for the church bulletin to feature the letters “D.V.” in the schedule of events for the coming week—as in, “The Ladies Missionary Society will meet on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. D.V.” The letters stood for a Latin phrase, Deo volente, “God willing.” It seems a quaint, bygone custom now, and I suppose it did become a bit ritualistic, but there was real wisdom behind those little letters. That wisdom came straight from this proverb, as expanded upon in the book of James.

Whenever we make plans, even if it’s just where we plan to have lunch tomorrow, our plans must always be contingent. We’re not really in control of the future. We live as if we were, and most of the time it’s true. Until suddenly it’s not. We might not have tomorrow, let alone next year, to “trade and make a profit” (v. 13). Tomorrow belongs to the Lord, not to us. Nothing is guaranteed us beyond today.

Of course, we can and should still make our plans. By all means make your business plans and vacation plans and retirement plans; block out your week, schedule your meetings, write down your appointments. But as you do, always—mentally if not out loud—add “If the Lord wills, we will . . . do this or that” (v. 15). I’m not suggesting we need to put D.V. back in our calendars; just that we should always bear it in mind. —David Bast

As you pray, thank God that we can trust him for the future.

About the Author

david bast
Rev. David Bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.