Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. (James 1, 9-11 NLT)
Hola mis amores! How are you doing?
Welcome back to SHEISALLIN’s series on “Gems in James” where I share with you what I am learning through James. My hope is that my studies would bless you in your personal studies and potentially elaborate onto what God may be speaking to you through His Word! Let’s get into it!
Our Hearts, NOT our Accolades
You know, the Lord views circumstances so much differently than the world, and James tells us that in Him, so should we. The poor are blessed, honored and exalted by the Lord. The rich are humbled and reminded of the brevity of life and the insignificance of their achievements in the long run. Why are they insignificant in the long run? Because honestly, after this world comes another, and in light of eternity, these achievements don’t really matter. The Lord is a God who cares more about who we are, than what we do.
Caring for The Poor
In the New Testament, we see Jesus caring often for those who are poor, financially speaking, and blessing those who are poor in spirit, just as he continues to honor those who belong to him and are now. He says it himself – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10). He is a God who has always cared for the poor, the marginalized, the lowly, and displayed this care so beautiful over His time on earth.
In the Word, Jesus commands us to care for those who are poor/ marginalized in society because in the same way, the Lord is also doing his work in caring for those who are poor. Blessings, He promises, follow those who are in Him.
Warnings to the Rich
In regard to those who are rich and in Christ, however, there is a humbling that happens when the Lord reveals to them the brevity of life and what truly matters- the state of their souls.
I am reminded of the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16: 19-31. Jesus told this story of a rich man who lived lavishly, yet found himself tormented in the fires of Hades, or Hell, after his death, and Lazarus, a poor man, who ate from the scraps of the rich man over his lifetime. Yet when Lazarus passed, he was instead comforted and above that of Hades. Go read it! Here, an interaction happened, where the rich man asked Lazarus for a drink, and this story, to me, revealed just how vital it is to remember that there comes an “after” after this life, that the riches being enjoyed now will not last for long and if not careful, it may very well lead to an eternity not enjoyable, and that the Lord truly does promise to bless those who are humbled to him.
So, lovely, what are some ways that the Lord may be comforting you or challenging you through your reading of this passage of James this week? How can we live as greater women who trust in God’s promises for honor when humbled to Him? How can we live like servants this week, using our riches for the betterment of another, for the benefit of someone who may be like Lazarus in our story? How does living in light of eternity change the way that we live now?
Oh how much it excites me to think of women of God who are trusting in God’s promises to them, and women of God who are giving to those who are needy.
This is who we are called to be, because this is who Jesus already is.