Pastor’s Corner: “Life as a Vapor”
James 4:14 (AMP) – 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air].
This life is a vapor – two seconds, and we will be gone. Living knowing that your life is a vapor is different than just living. Things here are passing away. You’ve got to hold on to what will stand and cherish what matters. You will exist forever, so you and God are both in the universe to stay—either as friends on His terms, or enemies on yours.
Life can feel endless at times, but the Bible reminds us that compared to eternity, an individual life on earth is like a vapor chased away by the morning sun. It is important to recognize the brevity of life so that we don’t squander the time we’ve been given. God wants us to live with purpose, recognizing that the clock is counting down to the moment we step through death’s portal and enter our eternal state. While entertainment and relaxation are important parts of a healthy life, they must never be our primary reason for living. Our lives are like a vapor, and that means we may not have tomorrow; living always with that knowledge keeps us focused on the things that matter the most – God & people – both which are eternal.
In his metaphor of life being a vapor, James was reminding his readers that they should not become overconfident about their plans because ultimately they are not in charge of their plans. The God who rules all things may overrule our ideas. If we are not holding our earthly treasures loosely, the overriding of our plans can feel devastating (James 4:13–16). God often allows difficulties and struggles into our lives to remind us that this world is not our home (Philippians 1:27; 3:20). All those born into the family of God (John 3:3) will, at death, gather in their eternal home and enjoy forever the rewards of serving the Lord on earth (1 Corinthians 3:12–13).
Jesus said: 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” Matthew 6:34 (NLT). Or, another way to say it is “Don’t get bent out of shape over what ‘might’ happen tomorrow—for you’ve got enough to take care of today. Don’t ‘borrow’ trouble from tomorrow.” Yet, this does not mean that we are not to think of eternity and make preparations for it. Have mercy on those people who think Heaven and hell are what you make of things here on earth. They are in for a rude awakening (Lk. 16:19-31)! No, it is much better for us to remember “Life is short and death is sure.” Then, to that we add, “Sin’s the cause, but Christ is the Cure.” Hallelujah!!
Surely God means for our minutes on earth to count for something significant. Paul said, “In the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Philippians 2:16). Time is precious – we are fragile – life is short – eternity is long. Every minute counts. Ephesians 5:16 (NLT) – 6 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) – 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NLT) – 10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.
It was Moses, who authored Psalms 90 and wrote “So teach us (Lord) to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (v.12). Life Is Short. Eternity Is Long. Live Like It!
In His Grace,