James 1:9-11 – Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 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. (NKJV; emphasis mine)
I love this verse. It turns our whole world on it’s head.
The lowly person exalted, the rich humbled. That’s not some class warfare statement, it’s a statement about people having an eternal perspective on things and realizing that in eternity, what makes people of high status on this earth means nothing, and what forces people to low status means nothing.
The poor woman prayer warrior will be exalted while the ungodly, immoral superstar will be humbled. Or, the poor lazy welfare minded person will be humbled, and the man whom God has blessed richly with wealth who uses it to help others, will be exalted. You see, it’s not rich or poor but how we live our lives. There is no innate pride to be derived from being poor, nor is there automatic condemnation for being rich. It all depends on our attitudes, motivation and actions… rich or poor, high or low status – it doesn’t matter.
Huh? Flowers die. Every flower dies. And so do people. We all die. We all face judgment. We all give an account. I have great sorrow for some people we see today who are at the TOP of humanity in power, influence, money and luxury. I realize full well that because of their lifestyle and public actions they have no care for God. When one of them dies, I immediately become saddened for them. I realize that one second after they die, they are going from the top, to the pit. They will mourn and lament that a whole lifetime of selfish indulgence was worth NOTHING one second after their damnation becomes real.
Just like the sun rises and burns up the grass and flowers, so too will wealth be done away with. Just look at the anxiety and despair the current financial plunge is causing. After decades of unprecedented prosperity, the bubble bursts and everything people have been trusting in and building their security through is withering and passing away… disappearing right before their eyes.
As Christians we should NEVER lose sight of the fact that money comes, money goes… God will give us what we need, when He knows we need it to accomplish His will. Otherwise, we should hold it very, very loosely, knowing that as sure as the sun rises tomorrow, at some point it will slip through our fingers, either through circumstances now, or at death. If there is one good thing that can occur by what is happening in America today, it is that many people will finally quit trusting in prosperity and starting trusting in God.
Rich or poor is not the issue. Knowing what is eternal is.
Lord God, help us to know that riches will always disappear and not to trust in them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?