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Read Introduction to James


“Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation…”


Let the lowly brother

The “lowly brother” here is a fellow Christian of low position, poor, lowly, humble, undistinguished. This is a person low on the totem pole in society, who lives in humble circumstances.

This verse is a command – God mandates that Christians with very little material possessions rejoice in eternal things, not temporal things.

glory in his exaltation

Christians who possess very little here will obtain much hereafter. There is a day coming when God will exalt them. There will be no social standing in eternity. Although Christians may possess very little in temporal treasures now, God will give them eternal treasures that they will never lose. Christians with the least amount of earthly wealth are richer than the wealthiest of this world. Christians calculate their wealth in terms of eternity, not time, in terms of God’s operating assets, not a given amount of mutual funds.


Christians can have legitimate pride in their eternal possessions.


When we assume God’s viewpoint on values, we broaden our perspective and elevate ourselves above our present situation. If we own very little riches in this life, we still can rejoice because of our eternal possessions. There is a day coming when no one will put us into a class distinction because of what we own or do not own. Poverty will not last long; it will not enter into the eternal state.

By operating on an eternal perspective, we do not have joy in our wealth on earth but in our riches in Heaven. The Christian rejoices more in the future than in the present. Although people in the present time might put us on a lower rung of social acceptance, God guarantees that He will place us on the high rung of His acceptance. That hope raises us above our circumstances to a new and higher plane.

“…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:17).

Poverty is no absolute condition for unhappiness for the Christian. Christianity is not an economic worldview, for it transcends finances, bank accounts, and personal wealth. To be a child of God outranks any station in life on earth. In this, we can rejoice in the face of any situation we might encounter.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).