Day 2

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

from the The Beatitudes reading plan

Matthew 5:3, Ephesians 2:1-10, Revelation 3:17-22

BY Rebecca Faires

Text: Matthew 5:3, Ephesians 2:1-10, Revelation 3:17-22

“He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit.”
-John Calvin

When we were first married, we spent half a year working for a company after they stopped paying us. We had signed a contract for a year, but halfway in they came upon hard times, and the paychecks just stopped. We were committed to the project, had a little money saved up, and didn’t really know what to do, so we finished the contract.

Now that we are older, a little less idealistic, and more laden with responsibilities, we probably wouldn’t be able to manage that. Granted, the word “poor” is relative, and short of insurmountable homeless starvation, we’re all holding on okay. But during that particular season, we were poor.

I don’t like to be poor. I don’t even like to feel poor.

Money is an insulation from the world. We use it to keep from feeling hungry, cold, and sad. Strength and power insulate us, too—all these things give us the illusion that we are in control. But the “poor in spirit” are those who have no power; they are the demoralized, the dejected. They can be fiscally poor, or lonely, or rejected; but regardless, they have lost all hope of finding power in themselves.

In the eyes of the world, the poor in spirit are the lowest of the low. People who can’t help themselves, or people who don’t believe in themselves, must not deserve all the good things life has to offer, we reason. We put so much value on hard work and grit that the poor in spirit are the most undervalued members of society.

But that’s the upside down version. The world is upside down, but Christ sets things right again. When He said “the last shall be first,” He meant it (Matthew 20:16). The poor in spirit have nothing, but that nothingness empties them of the illusion of their own power, enabling them to rely wholly on God. And to those who totally rely on Him, God gives the earth as an inheritance. He doesn’t promise that they’ll conquer the earth in their own power, somehow taking it for themselves; they will inherit the earth. For the meek, the earth will come to them gently, naturally, like a bequest. The world is upside down, but God sets it upright again.

In an unexpected way, we suddenly have reason to be grateful for the absence of paychecks, the blindsiding blows, and the losses that reduce us to emptiness. Poverty of the heart forces us to rely on the mercy of God. Jesus says they are “blessed” and “happy” who find themselves poor in spirit. Without our insulating security we have no refuge but God, and that blessed contradiction is a glimpse of what earth will look like, right side up, as it is heaven (Matthew 6:10).

Post Comments (147)

147 thoughts on "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit"

  1. Kimberly Z says:

    Happy Tuesday ladies. @Rhonda J – praying for all your pain! I know some days it probably feels defeating! I’ve felt poor in spirit myself these past couple days so I feel ya!

  2. Teresa Donley says:

    SHARON, JERSEY GIRL – praying for Jonathan to, like the prodigal son, realize that he is wallowing in a place he doesn’t belong, and return to God’s love and forgiveness. I pray for you as you wait and pray.
    LYNNR FROM ALABAMA – I’m praying for you as you care for your husband. I pray you are given the physical and emotional strength to be his caregiver. And I pray for wisdom for you and the care team in making decisions regarding his care.
    RHONDA J – praying for relief from the pain, and strength over it to do what you do to serve God and bring hope to others.
    TRACI GENDRON – God bless you, dear Sister. I can’t imagine. I admire you for the ability to share your grief with others.

    Thank you to all who share your thoughts and insights on our Scripture reading each day. It is so enlightening to learn how other sisters in Christ are blessed by the Words of our Savior.

  3. Erica Chiarelli says:

    Inheritance implies its nothing we can do in and of ourselves. We cannot purchase it or in any way “earn” it. Unless someone dies, it will never be ours. But Jesus died, allowing those who rely on Him and His death and Resurrection, to become rich in Him. We inherit heaven! Wow!

  4. Traci Gendron says:

    I was always trying to keep Tanner going. Looking up medical strategies to help him. His illness was so rare that the doctors weren’t even sure. I realized in the last year of is life that I was powerless. I was on my knees before God, begging Him for help. He gave me comfort. I am poor in spirit.

  5. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    @Rhonda J. @CeeGee @Lynn from Alabama – thank you for your prayers for my son Jonathan (and for my recovery from knee surgery) – May God do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think! (Ephesians 3:20)
    @Rhonda J. – continuing to pray for you as you experience chronic pain, and for your hubby to have a peaceful, loving spirit and that you will have much patience when he doesn’t. ❤️

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