| Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3 KJV)
At first, this seems like an odd
statement. In our world, we tend to think that blessed people have good
looks, talent, riches, nice home, new car, designer clothes, the newest
gadgets, the best cell phone plan, and so on. Because Jesus says
differently, we should pay attention "For
by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in
earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or
principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him"
(Colossians 1:16 KJV). So, let's examine
this verse and try to understand how our's can be the kingdom of heaven.
Poor in spirit may mean humble.
The Bible tells us "God resists the
proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under
the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (1
Peter 5:5-6 NKJV). It also tell us that "whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and
he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Matthew
23:12 NKJV) and "Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is
greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:4
KJV). God told us through the prophet Isaiah "For thus saith the high and lofty One that
inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy
place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive
the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
(Isaiah 57:15 KJV). Clearly, God is in
favor of humility, and being humble is needed for salvation.
Poor in spirit may mean being in
We don't often think of people going through trials as being blessed.
However, in times of trouble, people cry out to God and they are open
to receive Him. When things are going too good, we often feel that we
don't need God. David called out to God during his trials. "In my distress I called upon the LORD, and
cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came
before him, even into his ears." (Psalm 18:6 KJV).
He knew that God could lift him higher than any of his troubles. "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is
overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." (Psalm
61:1-2 KJV). He also cried out to God often. "Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto
thee daily." (Psalm 86:3 KJV).
David also wrote about others who cried out to God. "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears
them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to
the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A
righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from
them all" (Psalm 34:17-19 NIV). "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear
him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them" (Psalm
Paul also spoke of suffering with Christ. "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our
spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs
of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that
we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which
shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation
eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God." (Romans
If we want fellowship with Christ, then we will look for Him in out
suffering and distress. After all, fellowship happens when people share
experiences. Christ suffered for us, and we can use our distress as an
opportunity to come closer to Him.
Poor in spirit may mean totally
surrendering ourselves to Jesus.
He told us "For whosoever will save
his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake,
the same shall save it." (Luke 9:24 KJV).
Jesus also said "... If anyone desires
to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,
and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but
whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it
to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?"
Actually, poor in spirit may refer to all of these things and more.
When we surrender ourselves to Jesus, we grow in humility, and we learn
to share our suffering with Him. Salvation only comes when we make our
spirit poor so that we can realize that "... by grace you have been saved through
faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works,
that no one would boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in
them." (Ephesians 2:8-10 WEB).