James 1:9 says, “Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.” Why would God give honor to the poor and lift them up? Who are the poor? How can we have the attitude of those who are poor?
The Bible talks about the poor in many different books and chapters. Psalm 34:6 says, “In my desperation (poor) I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” Job says in 29:12, “For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help.” Proverbs 22:16 says, “A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty,” and in 21:13, “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.” Perhaps the most famous verse in the Beatitudes about the poor (Matthew 5:3), “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” God honors those who are poor in spirit because their hearts and eyes are not turned to anything else. They are fixed upon the Lord only to rescue them from their desperation like Psalm 34:6 tells us. Job was a man who continuously helped the poor and when he found himself in need, his faith was increased and God heard His cry. He was a living example of Matthew 5:3. He was blessed because of his faith. He did not shut his ears to the cries of the poor like Proverbs 22:16 says, so the Lord rescued him in his time of need.
The poor is not a group of people, but instead describes someone in need, whether that be physical or spiritual. When we reach out to others in need and boast about the One who saves, He will save us in our time of need as well. He is a God who rescues.