Empty Pocket Faith
Verse 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?
After a few days about talking about the prejudices that we hold in our hearts, we will look at the reason James gives for God choosing to show favor to those of His choosing.
The poor are not our first choice to be around. In fact we may try to avoid some of them. But the verse before us today says that God chose the poor to be rich in faith. We must ask ourselves why He would do that and what it means for us. He never does anything without reason and so we know that His purpose is true and good.
What do the poor have that the rich do not? They have less. Less money, and less respect. But God says they have more faith. Now we must make the point that this doesn’t apply to every poor person because not every poor person is in line to inherit the kingdom of God. James wasn’t speaking on his own thinking. Jesus had said something very similar to this in His Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
The poor being blessed sounds strange to our way of thinking. We think of blessing as being wealth and status. But God knows what the blessings of this world do to the soul. The reason the poor can be blessed and will inherit His kingdom is that they understand their need of Him. The poor know what it is like to depend fully on God for the various needs of life. The poor understand that their needs are provided by the God of the universe. They know that they will be cared for by the One who loves them the most.
To be rich in faith is the proof of dependence on God. To rely on self, shows faith in self. Faith is important for any relationship with God. To trust Him in everything in our lives we need to first learn to trust Him in the basics. If we aren’t trusting Him for our meals for today how can we expect to trust Him for the money to pay our bills? We depend on Him more when we understand that in and of ourselves we wouldn’t be able to provide for our smallest needs. He is our provider.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been in a place where you had to trust Him for your next meal? What did you learn about God during those times of having less? Where in your life do you see yourself not trusting God?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to be poor? What does it mean to depend on Jesus? What do you trust Jesus for?
Father, forgive us for thinking we have to make it on our own. Help us learn to have dependent faith in You no matter how much we have financially. In Jesus’ name, amen.