Heavenly riches (crowns of life) and earthly poverty

Heavenly riches (crowns of life) and earthly poverty

James 1 v. 9 – 12

‘Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
11 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 will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.’

James will go on, in this letter, to talk about the dangers of wealth, and here, early in his letter, he raises up those living ‘in humble circumstances’, wanting them to see that their earthly poverty is as nothing compared to the riches of heaven – ‘spiritually speaking, every Christian is a billionaire’.
‘There is something deceptive about wealth. It all too easily skews our view of ourselves and our abilities, and it’s all too easy to become so used to being self-reliant that we cannot accept that for eternal life we must be God reliant.’

There is a ‘crown of life’ which those who persevere will receive – a gift of love from the great Giver.

Lord Jesus, Saviour and brother,
remind me who I am in You
assure me of all I possess through You
give me strength to persevere
and shower me with Your love.

In Jesus’ name,

Phil Gough