Daily Devotional

James 1:9-10a

Let the lowly brother boast in his exultation, and the rich in his humiliation....

These verses contain some of the upside-down logic of the Kingdom of Jesus. What does someone who is “lowly” have to boast about? Why would someone who seems to have it all boast about being humiliated? The Bible is full of such seemingly contradictory statements like this.

Back when James wrote these words there were only two classes, the rich and the poor; there was no middle class as we know it today. 90% of the Roman Empire was poor and had essentially zero chance of upward mobility. James doesn’t tell his readers how to get rich, he instead tells them that whatever their station in life is they should keep the right perspective. No matter how good or bad our life on earth may be, our hope is ultimately in Jesus.
If we could see God’s perspective, we would truly understand that the eternal outweighs the now. If we keep the right perspective on things, then we will have a working faith.

If we have a working faith, then we will be able to endure whatever difficulties we face in this life. We will persevere, we will continue forward, we will keep on following after Jesus, regardless of what life’s circumstances throw at us. How can we do this? Here’s the secret: we do this because of love. It is our love for Jesus that motivates us. Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Notice there’s no conditional clauses in that statement. That’s just how it is. Through ups and downs, highs and lows, mountains and valleys, we follow Jesus, and we follow Jesus because we love Jesus. Our faith isn’t built on what we do, or what happens to us, it’s built on the One we love.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.