Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Comment: James is writing to Christian Jews, but it is very relevant for us all. He deals with three matters met with very commonly.
- Poverty and wealth: The poor are to be delighted that although poor they have been made rich in what God has done for them; the rich are not to be proud of their wealth because they cannot take it with them when they die!
- The reward for steadfastness is a ‘crown of life’. Temptation is not stopped when you come to Jesus. God never tempts but beware of your own personality. Your desires if followed, like a mother giving birth, deliver sin and death.
- God is good. He is constantly good. And He has brought you into His ‘orchard’ of good fruits – His family!
Prayer: Please help me to heed these wise words!