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. James 4:13-16
During the political season, it seems impossible to escape from advertisements promising to conquer the coronavirus, improve jobs, and provide healthcare. Or, from promises in the shape of slogans such as “Make America Great Again" or “Keep America Great".
In whatever form, the promises center around safety and prosperity.
Prudent hikers do not boast at Springer mountain of the date they will summit Katahdin. They know the Trail is formidable, and that the successful outcome of their hike is not entirely in their hands. This seems to be lacking from the current political climate, and from the minds of many people.
As the passage from James chapter 4 points out, things come about "if the Lord wills". Notice that the boasting in the passage is about the year ahead, and the profitability in it. In reality, not only politicians, but all persons depend on the choice of God for their life, and for the profitability of it. We are a "mist" that lasts only as long as God wills, then "vanishes". We profit only as He permits.
Other Scriptures agree. "In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them". (Psalm 139:16). "Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
It is foolish to boast about what one will do for their constituents. They do not have control over the future as they think they do. It is equally foolish to put our confidence in those boastful promises.
Rather, our confidence should be in "Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11) and to always bear in mind "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble". (James 4:6)