“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most quoted and well-known sermons in the history of the world. The sermon is so popular because it is so profound. Jesus addresses everything from giving, to anger, to marriage, and to salvation. Jesus begins His sermon with nine beatitudes or blessings which epitomize His entire message. To be blessed means to be happy, but the happiness that Jesus is advocating goes far beyond our temporal circumstances. Jesus pictures the blessed life as one that is in a right relationship with God.
True happiness is found in being rightly related to God. The first way to discover true happiness is to understand one’s need for God. Jesus starts this excellent sermon, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” It seems counter-intuitive to say that one is blessed when they are poor in spirit, but God’s ways are often unexpected. The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize their sinfulness in light of God’s holiness. Understanding one’s spiritual bankruptcy is the beginning of having one’s debts cancelled. Colossians 2:13-14,
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
We will only have our debts cancelled in the cross when see our need of the cross. And we cannot see our need of the cross unless we understand we are poor in spirit. But when we see our debts, and turn to Christ, Jesus says, yours “is the kingdom of heaven.”
Are you poor in spirit or proud in spirit? How you answer that question will determine if you will be truly happy and blessed!! God wants us to be happy, but we will only be truly happy on His terms. We may experience moments of happiness without God, but those moments are fleeting and will never last. If you want to be eternally happy, you must listen to the words of Christ, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Be happy, trust in Christ.