James 1:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 1:9, NIV: "Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position."

James 1:9, ESV: "Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,"

James 1:9, KJV: "Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:"

James 1:9, NASB: "Now the brother or sister of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;"

James 1:9, NLT: "Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them."

James 1:9, CSB: "Let the brother of humble circumstances boast in his exaltation,"

What does James 1:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse begins another important teaching, explained in verses 9 through 11. This continues James' description of what it looks like for a believer to trust God.

One piece of evidence that we have placed trusting faith in God's wisdom is the ability to change our own perspective on reality. In this case, James calls Christians living in humble or lowly circumstances to take pride or boast about their truly exalted position in Christ. As the next two verses show, James is pointing out that it's not the circumstances of this short, fading life that matter most. It's the position we will hold in the life to come that is significant.

The ability for a poor Christian to declare that he or she is, in fact, the child of the king with riches beyond imagining—and to truly mean it—is evidence that Christian is trusting the Father in that moment. Taken negatively, when we as believers are consumed with sorrow and regret and envy and despair because of our limited resources, we show that we are not convinced in the reality of our God and our place with Him in eternity.