So far James has told us that there will be times of testing. This is when God allows the road ahead to be challenging so we will trust in Him and grow stronger. We have also seen where God is just waiting for us to ask for wisdom so that we can conduct ourselves in a manner pleasing to Him. Now James, as he continues to talk about patience, is going to cover our state of mind.
Godly State of Mind – Seeing the Spiritual Big Picture
The world is never going to favor the Christian so we shouldn’t expect it. That is easier said than done; it gets tiring always going against the crowd. In verses 9-11 James explores the poor and the rich from the view of the world. If we look at the Greek word used here for rich it means to be wealthy but it can also be used to express high social standing. So rich can mean a person with a lot of money but it can also mean a person who is really popular. At the same time poor can mean you are broke and / or unpopular.
There are two statements James makes about the poor and rich: first he says that the poor must rest in the knowledge that God is pleased when we take a stand for Christ and become unpopular. God says He will exalt us. Secondly, for the people who fit in and are popular, God says their time is short. They will, just like a flower, lose their beauty and be cast away.
Here is where faith comes in; we must believe God’s promise that He will exalt us in due time. Perhaps it doesn’t happen in this life but God is faithful, if He says we will be exalted then it will happen whether it is here on earth or in heaven. I mentioned that we can get tired of the constant pressure to conform; if we will exercise our faith we can rest in the promise that God will exalt us.
Here is a concept we all understand: work first and enjoy the rewards later. That’s why we were taught as children to do our chores first before we go and play. (Okay, I will admit, not everyone is teaching responsibility.) It is why we have a work week and afterwards enjoy the weekend, a career and then retirement. We have to patiently conduct ourselves as Christians trusting that God will reward us after the work is done. God will keep His promise. We need to do our spiritual work first then allow God to give us rest. (Remember the song “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be”?) Stay Strong! Weekend is Coming Soon
We need to revisit the idea of self-induced injury again, this is from lesson two. Being unpopular can also be a self-inflicted outcome: if we do not respect / appreciate those around us we shouldn’t be surprised to see them leave.
What is our personality forecast: are we a sun shiny day or is it partly cloudy with a chance of rain? Living in a godly state of mind will improve our forecast.
Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:…
Step back and ask yourself… “Would I hang around someone like me?”