“But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position;” James 1:9
This phrase seems strange to the human mind. We wonder how a humble person could also be in a high position. “humble” and “high” do not go together.
Human societies all have some sort of hierarchy. The hierarchy is a method of keeping order and some kind of rule of law. The person in charge has authority and power to have this authority over the lower people in the social group. The leader can do and say things that have influence over others. The leader of the group is regarded above everyone else, and is able to hold on to power. The leader gets regard because they are seen as more important than everyone else. This is still true in the democratic system of government. This position opens the door for great pride and people pushing themselves for supremacy.
This uplifting of one above others causes so much trouble for that person.
The idea of an important, ruling person actively putting themselves down, is not a human trait. The concept of humility is not in the human psyche. Those who seek acclaim, strive for it and to get in the position of having authority over other lesser people. Some will say they are equal with other people, but in reality they are not. The working of human pride is in every soul, and we all seek exalted places in the scheme of things.
This Scripture tells us that the Christian who lives life in a humble way, not expecting or trying for position above others, is a blessed person. The humble heart is in a very good place to be and to live. God puts His most heartfelt workers in the low social place, because there, they will work effectively for Him. Christians who are lifted up, especially in this world, are living with danger. They will live in danger of their souls becoming contaminated and their motivations being unclear.
The Christian in the lowly place, who carries on regardless of circumstances and the effects of other people, is actually in the high position in the kingdom of God. The Christian who is most sensitive to their sins, and careful about their spiritual life, will be kept by God. Those who love Him and desire influence for Christ, will be rewarded. If doors shut and opportunities fail, or you are shut out of exercising your gifts for the Lord, do not be concerned, God will have something better for you.
Being humble does not mean hiding what you can do, or denying that you can do things. Indeed God requires that we make more of our gifts for His glory. The person who doesn’t bother with their gifts and doesn’t use them fully for God, looses out and gets no reward.
It is hard to live by faith. Trusting God for the future and for the fruit of the work you do for Him, is difficult. Many serve God and never know the outcome of what they are doing. In most cases, only eternity will tell, and we must trust God in this.
People quickly and falsely judge by sight, so we leave our glory to the God who has saved us and we rest on the truth that Christ will not allow us to utterly fail. Faith wholly trusts in God, and so we humbly serve Him in the light of His Word.