Honored by God
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
James was writing to Christians who were going through tremendous persecution because of their faith in Jesus. This persecution led to the loss of job of many of them that they were getting discouraged as well as disparaged from the treatment they were receiving from the society. The world judge people based on their economic status; you’re blessed when you are prosperous and you’re cursed when you are poor. Yet, James would like to encourage them that in the eyes of God, their lowly position in society does not mean that they are inferior. Their perseverance in their faith despite their circumstances is what matters to God. No matter how low the poor are in terms of the world’s goods, they are exceedingly rich in spiritual terms because of their relationship with God. They had been saved from the condemnation and ruin of sin through the saving work of Jesus Christ and had been made part of the family of God. Whether rich or poor, we have to dig deeper within our lives and realize that what counts in the eyes of God is not our external circumstances but on how we are growing in our spiritual lives. We need to see ourselves as God sees us. We are in a period of time where we are looked down because of our faith in Christ. These are the days that we are branded as narrow-minded if we believe only in the truth of God’s word. We are criticized if we claim that Jesus alone is the way to heaven and that He alone is the truth and the life. No matter how disliked we are in this world and no matter how low and deplorable we appear to be because of our faith in Christ, we can count it all joy because of the highest privilege we have, that is, being part of the family of God. Just like what James said, “Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them” (James 1:9).
Noel De Guzman