Bible Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3)

To be blessed means to be happy and content. What is the secret to happiness? Jesus taught the beatitudes. You could call it lessons on how to be happy. However, Matthew Henry points out that another name for these beatitudes is the paradoxes. Jesus’ way is like no other way ever thought of by man. The first and foremost starting place for happiness is spiritual poverty. What does that even mean?

To be poor in spirit does not mean to become physically poor. To be poor in spirit is to have a spirit emptied of the lusts of the world and to have one thing in your heart: an earnest and humble desire to know Him. It means we are willing to be emptied of our past sinful lifestyles. If we want to learn in God’s School, we must continue to put sin to death in our lives and to ask for a renewed heart and mind, which is noble and godly. 

Are we ready to detach from our sins to be happy? This is part of the paradox. We think that sin makes us happy. However, the only true thing that can make us happy is God and a personal relationship with Him. 

Moreover, to be poor in spirit means to humble ourselves. Most of the time, we think that if we can get appreciation or approval for what we do, we will be happy. We think that if we manage to beat everyone and come out as successful and at the top, we will be satisfied. However, true blessedness in Christ is not centred around ourselves. We can’t find true blessedness. It is only a gift that God can give. Ask for it and pray for it with an earnest and open heart. You will know that God is faithful, and He was and is shaping you today to grow in humility and reliance on Him. 

Matthew Henry explains ‘poor in spirit’ means that we “acknowledge that God is great, and we are mean; that he is holy and we are sinful; that he is all and we are nothing, less than nothing, worse than nothing; and to humble ourselves before him, and under his mighty hand. 

How much of us have genuinely sought a close and personal relationship with God? Do we have poor spirits who seek God, knowing their sinful condition and knowing that God is our only hope? Although it may be tough at times, trust that God’s way of blessedness begins is a simple trust in God in humility. Often, these are the most challenging parts because we need to deny our sinful selves to follow God. We love our sinful idols too much. Yet, God processes His people to change them to be inheritors of the Kingdom. This process starts with a lowly and humble heart. From there, God will work. 

God’s ways are often not our ways. Are we ready to follow? 

Lord, please help me to understand what it means to be poor in spirit. Please forgive me for my arrogance. Help me to trust in You in all that I do and to involve You in all contexts of my life. Give me a humble heart and renew my mind. Help me to know You on a personal level. Thank You, God, in Jesus’ name, amen.