9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. (James 1:9-11)
We looked at how we can prayerfully deal with trials, how we can triumph in them, and how important our attitude is in all of it. When considering verses 2-8 and thinking about trials, our minds will more than likely go to the hardships or difficulties we or others are dealing with. Often times those hardships can be related to the lack of or abundance of money and earthly possessions. It might be easy for us to consider the trials of one who has less money but not think that one with great wealth could face trials as well. That, however, is what we see in these verses. We see there are trials for both the poor and the rich and the attitude we should have.
In poverty, we might be tempted to curse God.
In wealth, we might be tempted to forget God.
But we can have joy in both poverty and wealth. If we are poor, we can rejoice that we have been exalted. Even if we are poor or have less than another, we can be spiritually rich and on equal footing with all Christians (Revelation 2:8-9).
If we are wealthy or are extremely blessed physically, then we can rejoice that we have been humbled. The rich are humbled by becoming Christ’s slave and being placed on even footing with all Christians in which wealth means nothing. This humility is important because a disciple of Christ knows that these riches are temporary, they are not able to save our souls and the love of money is like quicksand and a source of many sorrows brought on by ourselves.
In all of this, asking for and receiving Godly wisdom provides us with the heart and attitude to overcome trials whether rich or poor. We will understand that we are not secure in our physical blessings. We thank God for His blessings whatever they are and look to Him for wisdom in our stewardship and desire to have a giving and hospitable heart. Christ is the great equalizer when it comes to wealth and no matter the size of our bank accounts we all have the same limitless love, mercy, grace and hope in Jesus if we are obedient to Him and His word. Rejoice with those who rejoice and be prepared to lift another up as they have need and we have the means to provide it.