“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.” James 1: 9-11
We need God! We are dependent (In Dependence) on God. That’s how He made us and that is how we function best. When the circumstances of this life bring us down we are humiliated. Humiliation occurs when all of our pride, arrogance, boasting and ability to be independent have been stripped away from us. In the previous verses James paints a picture of what this might look like. When we find ourselves battling trials of various kinds and desperately in need of wisdom and we fall to our knees or flat out on the ground in need of God then we have achieved humble circumstances. But rather than bemoan are lowliness James says take pride that we have achieved the highest position we can achieve before God. James says don’t be dismayed and hurried to build yourself back up when you are humbled, but rather rejoice that God has elevated you to the place where He has always wanted you; a place of dependence on Him. Furthermore, when you are high and all is good and the “blessings” keep pouring in, remember those are from God and you are still “in dependence” on him. You still need to be in the low position of prayer and desperation before God.
Here is the problem. When we experience the blessing of God far too often we lose sight of God and begin to forget who gave us the blessing and who sustains the blessing. We begin to look down on others; we get selfish, arrogant and lose our love for those who are lower than us. But James says be careful! You are like a wildflower. You have a season of beauty and vitality where you rise above the other vegetation, but when the sun gets hot, you will be dried up and forgotten and brought down like everything else around you.
So here are the questions for today; are we living in dependence on God? Have we been blessed to experience the lowliness and humility that brings us in desperation to God? Have the blessings that have made us rich reminded us that we remain dependent on God despite what our egos might tell us? James reminds us no matter where or in what circumstance we find ourselves in… live in dependence on God.