Tomorrow occupies a great deal of our time and energy today. We work towards producing a brighter tomorrow. We also worry about what could happen tomorrow, fearing the future may be darker than the past.
The Bible has a good deal to say about tomorrow. Here are three biblical admonitions that tell us what we should be doing about tomorrow.
We are not to boast about tomorrow. Proverbs 27:1 cautions, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” James refers to this proverb when making a similar point: “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” (James 4:13-14).
Boasting about tomorrow involves presuming on the future and assuming we are in control. Both Solomon and James challenge this kind of thinking by reminding us of a harsh truth: we do not know what tomorrow may bring!
So much about tomorrow is beyond our control. We are reminded of this reality when we hear the nuclear-level threats from world leaders or the biopsy results from our doctors. We can’t stop the hurricanes that flood our streets with water or the mass shootings that flood our hearts with tears. Boasting about tomorrow reveals we are either clueless or cocky—neither of which are good options.
We are not to worry about tomorrow. The uncertainty about what tomorrow may bring can trigger a deep-level anxiety in our hearts. Jesus knew we would struggle with anxiety about tomorrow and spoke directly to our fears in his Sermon on the Mount.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:31-34)
When fears about tomorrow invade our hearts and disrupt our peace, we are to trade anxiety for trust by remembering God’s fatherly care and by seeking His kingdom priorities.
We are to plan and work for tomorrow. You might think God wants us to focus only on today. Actually, Scripture calls us to live today in light of tomorrow. While we are not to worry about the future, we can work with the future in mind. Like the ant, we are to wisely store up resources now for use in the future (Proverbs 6:6-8).
While we are not to presume on the future, we can still plan ahead. After rebuking those who assume they control tomorrow, James adds, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15).
In fact, Christians are called to live with a future orientation that sees this life in light of the life to come. Like the apostle Paul, we are to see present sufferings as preparing us for eternal glories (2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Romans 8:18). A.W. Tozer had it right: “We do well to think of the long tomorrow.”