Yield to God and Rest in His Promises

Last Sunday, Pastor Jason Finley preached from James 4:1-12 and showed us that God graciously redeems our conflict to reveal our sinful pride and lead us to humble restoration.

Read: James 4:1-12

This Sunday, Pastor Jeremy Chasteen will preach from James 4:13-17 and will warn us about the pride of planning our lives without God. As you prepare for our Sunday gathering, let these words from John Piper point you to yield to God’s sovereignty in all the details of life and rest in his promises.

Reflect: “Yield to God and Rest in His Promises”

Pride cannot tolerate the intimate involvement of God in running even the ordinary affairs of life. For example, James, the brother of Jesus, diagnoses pride behind the simple presumption of planning to go from one city to another:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:13–17)

Pride does not like the sovereignty of God. Therefore, pride does not like the existence of God, because God is sovereign. It might express this by saying, “There is no God.” Or it might express it by saying, “I am driving to Atlanta for Christmas.” James says, “Don’t be so sure.” Instead say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall get to Atlanta for Christmas.” James’ point is that God rules over whether we get to Atlanta, and whether you live to the end of this page. “If the Lord wills, we will live.…” This is extremely offensive to the self-sufficiency of pride—not even to have control over whether you get to the end of the page without having a stroke!

James says that not believing in the sovereign rights of God to manage the details of your future is arrogance. The way to battle this arrogance is to yield to the sovereignty of God in all the details of life, and rest in his infallible promises to show himself mighty on our behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9), to pursue us with goodness and mercy every day (Psalm 23:6), to work for those who wait for him (Isaiah 64:4), and to supply us with all we need to live for his glory (Hebrews 13:21). In other words, the remedy for pride is unwavering faith in future grace.

Excerpt from Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin with Superior Pleasure, pp. 48-49, by John Piper.

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “How Great Thou Art,” Arr. Paul Baloche
2. “Jesus, There’s No One Like You,” by Sovereign Grace Music
3. “Jesus Paid It All,” Arr. Passion
4. “Yet Not I, but Through Christ in Me,” by CityAlight