Open your Bibles to James 1:9-12, hear the Word of God: “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.”
Upon entering this text we see a stark comparison. 1:9 makes reference to what is called a “lowly” brother who is to boast in his exaltation while 1:10 makes reference to what is called a “rich” brother who is to boast in his humiliation. We know the first brother, the “lowly” one, is a poor brother because he is in direct comparison to another brother, a “rich” brother. So the stark comparison we see upon entering this text is a comparison between the poor and the rich. The low or meager people and the high or lofty people. Remember the original audience here – God is speaking to a suffering people through James. Now we see that among those who are suffering there exists different types of people. Poor people are suffering for the gospel, and rich people are suffering for the gospel. Though there is a difference in the kind of people they are, there is now a commonality among them. They’ve both been dispersed throughout the land. They’ve both been persecuted for believing in the resurrected Christ.
Into this trial, God has a Word for them in the midst of their suffering, and God has a Word for us too.