For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.James 1:11(NASB)
As with all the apostles, the dear desire of James is to see all believers in Christ maturing in their faith, growing in grace, trusting God unwaveringly, and developing an ever-increasing faith in His gracious provision and sufficient grace. And yet he knows from experience that the Christian life, for both rich and poor, is full of trials, tribulations, difficulties, and distresses.
It is for this reason that James encourages all believers to develop a joyful attitude in life, even when circumstances are screaming to the contrary, for faith is always tested in the life of a believer. But if we face the tests and trials of life with a godly attitude and a heart that trusts God's Word, it will move us towards spiritual maturity and develop a heart that remains humble before the Lord.
A humble believing heart, a surrendered submissive will, a focused mind, and a life that is dependent on Him in all things, are vital factors in the life of every believer, and James knows that only those who have an unwavering faith in God are the ones who will do what is right in the sight of the Lord - for they will love mercy and walk humbly with their God.
James knows that a wealthy man or woman who is relying on themselves instead of depending totally upon God's provision will be brought low. He goes on to compare the consequences of such a life with the withering effect of the blistering sun or the searing wind on the fast-fading beauty of a drooping flower. He describes how speedily the prideful pursuits of a rich man will pass away: "No sooner than the sun rises with a scorching heat than the grass withers; the flowers falls and the beauty of its appearance is quickly destroyed."
How foolish, therefore, to glory in the riches of this world rather than to rejoice in that which is of eternal worth and kept for us in heaven. How important for us to use the time we have on earth wisely and to set our mind on things above, for the riches of the wealthy are destined to evaporate like the morning mist, but that which is of true spiritual value has eternal worth and will never pass away.
Heavenly Father, help me to number my days and to set my mind on things above. Keep me from being tempted away from the worthy things of God by the accumulation of worldly wealth and fleshly passions which fade away as quickly as petals of a flower in the blazing sun. Help me to trust in You unwaveringly and faithfully. Develop in me an ever increasing faith in Your gracious provision and sufficient grace, and may I walk worthy all the days of my life. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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