Summary: Humility is one of the great keys of an effective Christian life. James points out some important aspects of living the humble Christian life.

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“Trials of Poverty & Riches”

(James 1:9-11)


 Keeping in our context we see that wisdom to understand our trials can be a very useful thing…it can also be useful as we consider our attitude in the world

 No one likes a stuck up individual…

A. We know these people:

1. always making themselves better than everyone else

2. always one-upping someone

3. always looking for opportunity to make themselves feel better even at the expense of someone else

 James encourages us in our section of text this morning to consider how we should act – especially as Christians:

 There is something truly blessed about a humble individual. Someone you know will always be real and not have a big head:

A. The example of Jesus comes to mind as we think of humility as He washed the disciples feet…this is the kind of humility we search for in our Christian lives

Let us consider our Practical Principles for our Poverty & Riches…


A. Consider this verse:

1. The brother of Humble circumstances (poor)

a. We understand this to usually mean “lowly”, “humble” or “unimportant” and it would do well for us to take a lesson from that as well

2 Corinthians 7:6; 10:1

b. In context though it is referring to someone who is poor

Mark 14:7

Philippians 4:12

Proverbs 16:10

c. There is no room for self pity as a Christian when one experiences a lack of wealth…we make a huge mistake when we consider ourselves better because of our wealth (NOT that being rich is wrong, but we are considering the humility of our Christian lives)

• Don’t you think this would take some wisdom to understand how to accept your lowly position – especially if you have wealthy friends…SURE – God promises us that we will be rich, especially in Him and in the prize we will receive in the end

2. Glory in His high position

a. James tells us that in Christ we are truly in a high position…servant of the King, children of the creator of the world…can you get any higher than that?

• We then do not rejoice in our poverty so much as we do in our wealth in Christ

• We rejoice or boast in our tribulations…Romans 5:3

B. Application for us today:

1. Here is the real application…in life we can have true riches…this is what James us trying to get us to see, it does not have to come with physical wealth, but we are rich in Christ


A. Consider the context:

1. The rich glories in his humiliation

a. those who are rich should consider themselves humble while here on this earth…for riches have no place in heaven

• consider the rich man and Lazarus

• consider the rich man Jesus told to get rid of all he had and give to the poor

2. Here is the extent of riches:

a. The flower and the grass only last in their beauty for a season and then are gone

Job 14:2

b. if the rich man puts all his stock in his riches, he too will fade away

• consider the prodigal son…his riches did not last long

c. God is no respecter of persons and he should not expect to receive and preferential treatment from God…God looks to the inner man and what that man is doing for Him…is he humble?

B. Application for us today:

1. Wealth in and of itself is not bad…it is when we place that wealth above our service and dedication to God

2. We should have the mindset of the poor – they long for riches of Christ

a. Consider how much more successful one is when they knock in a poor neighborhood vs. a rich one!


A. Let the verse speak for itself:

1. We that remain faithful until the end will receive the greatest reward…eternal life with God in heaven

2. We preserver under our trials to come out stronger on the other side

a. God has promised us this crown and eternal life (Titus 1:2)


 Notice the poor are those who will be lifted up…they are those who do not allow the love of money to come in the way of their service to God…

 For the rich, let your attitude be that of Christ and of Paul who saw that God provides everything…nothing is our own…everything is God’s

A. Humility is shown in your willingness to not be known by your money

1. 1 Timothy 6:17,18

 God has a rich reward waiting for us in the end if we will but remain faithful to Him until the end

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