Verse 9 reads,
“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,”
God loves us, He knows us individually. Yet God is not impressed by what impresses on earth. One of our goals, and our ultimate hope is to glorify Christ, to be conformed to His image. That is why the lowly brother boasts in his exaltation. What isn’t good about us, is made good. What might be considered poor, flawed, or appalling to the world is made into something God uses for His kingdom. We are lifted up in Christ and that exaltation, exalts Christ when we boast about it. We don’t boast about our abilities, our goodness, we boast about what God has done for us. We aren’t trying to impress the Joneses. We don’t care how many people clap for us. Paul says it this way in Galatians 6:12-16,
“It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.’
We are weak, but God’s grace is sufficient for us. He saved us. He forgave us. He made us righteous. That is wonderful! That is enough reason to brag on Jesus but He does so much more! He uses us, He gifts us, and He blesses us.
Paul had a lot he could boast about but what did he boast about? He bragged about Jesus and what Jesus had done for him. He bragged about how God used his weaknesses. Whatever the thorn in his side, he also had a stubborn streak, a temper, and a sarcastic wit. But The Lord used Paul in ways most of us will never achieve. Jesus used Paul’s weaknesses to glorify Himself. He does that for us too.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says,
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
But God does more than lift up the lowly brother. Sometimes we depend too much on ourselves, our money, our power, or our charm. The Lord doesn’t see wealth, earthly power, or strength as something to take pride in. He knows that pride will keep us from maturing to the perfect image of Christ. Verse 10 reads,
“and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.”
What are the things that we take pride in and keep us from becoming like Jesus? Is it beauty, strength, charm, or ability? Whatever it is, if it stands between us and transformation of the mind and spirit, if it keeps us from becoming new creations, God will remove it or give us a weakness to bring us down from our high place. We can get so caught up in the world that we forget eternity. Matthew 6:27-33 reads,
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
This life is temporary but the Kingdom of God is eternal. The troubles we face, the weaknesses we have, the sadness and the joy are all temporary and on The Day of Fire it will all be burned up, except for the treasures of our transformation to be like Christ. (2 Peter 3:6-10). Verse 11 reads,
“For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”
So believer boast in Jesus not in yourself. Rejoice that The Lord loves you enough to lift you up where you are low, and replace your strength with weakness so that you will depend on His strength. Glorify Christ, be filled with The Holy Spirit and not yourself. Pursue the Kingdom of God, not money or any other earthly pleasures.