9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
After just speaking about prayer and doubt, James goes on to speak about humility. Here he echoes the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount when He lifts up the meek and the lowly. While this feels like switching of gears in the midst of talking about trials and praying, it fits in perfectly in the broader context of the chapter.
While a person may endure humble circumstances in life, they should never forget that they have direct access to the Creator of the universe. When a believer needs help, he or she needs to do nothing more than to cry out in the midst of a trial or need and our Maker will respond. This is a power that the most powerful non-believers can only dream about.
The other side of humility is those who do not humble themselves but instead take pride in their current lofty position in life. James echoes the book of Proverbs which his Jewish readers would have been well familiar with. Authority and riches will only last a short while. In the end the most rich and powerful will fade away just as the lowly and weak. The only thing that will make a difference is whether they know Christ or not.