But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. James 1:9-10
As Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Those who are poor in spirit will lean on God and depend on God more than those who are proud. God loves people to depend on Him for guidance and wisdom. It is a reflection of worship and love. It is like offering yourself as a sacrifice to the Lord – you are saying “I will do things your way and not my own.”
However, it also says that the rich man is to glory in his humiliation.
A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23
The word of God says that “High places will be brought down”. Those things which tend to make people put themselves before God, such as pride and arrogance need to be stripped away. Those who continually put themselves before God will be brought down in order that they might be drawn closer to God and help them to become more dependent on the Lord.
For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so to the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. James 1:11
The comparison of man to the flowering grass is a good one. For man by himself is not eternal. A man can only have life through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Those who become prideful and arrogant tend to forget the true gift that God has given them.
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12
When you go through trials, there are two things that can happen. You can endure it, persevere through it, or you give in to temptation and turn from God. It is only by persevering that you can keep the promise the Lord has given you. As Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:13-15
God does not tempt people. God may test us, but it is Satan who tempts people. But one also must understand that Satan can not touch you unless he has permission to. The word of God says, “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18
Unless you give Satan permission he can not touch you. If you become prideful that is like giving Satan the permission he needs. It is your own desires that make you falter. This is why it is so important to check yourself daily and make sure you are doing as God desires and repent of anything that is not of God.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 1 James 1:16-17
This is a good warning that many people do not heed. Do not be deceived. Even Satan himself can disguise himself as an angel of light. If you receive a gift and it appears to be from God, but there are strings attached or flaws with it, then you may want to ask God to confirm and test it.
That is part of being a hireling, instead of being a servant or a friend of God. There are three stages in our relationship with God. The hireling which is one who has to be patted on the back, the servant who does things in secret and a friend of God, who has a close intimate relationship with God who also has a servants heart.
Jesus explained how the relationship became closer in time. When He said, I now call you friends. For He knew they were mature enough to handle information that many would not understand.
Another deceit of Satan is that many like bragging of their words instead of giving God the glory for any good that comes from their service.
As we learned last week, it is a good thing to ask God for help and guidance and wisdom. God will give to us without reproach, no matter how silly we think we are being.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
Asking God shows your desire to not do things your own way, but His way and God will love you all the more for it.