Jesus began His famous Sermon on the Mount with an upside-down perspective and eight counter-cultural blessings—commonly known as the beatitudes.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:3 ESV
To be physically poor is to lack resources or material possessions. The word “poor” might trigger a mental image of someone who can’t pay their bills, can’t break free from the cycle of poverty, or can’t afford food, clothing, or shelter.
So what does it mean to be spiritually poor, and why does Jesus think that’s a good thing?
Those who realize their own spiritual poverty know that, without God, they are spiritually bankrupt. Those who are poor in spirit understand the desperation of their situation—that they can have nothing, do nothing, and be nothing without Him. Those who are poor in spirit recognize that it’s humility, not pride or self-reliance, that’s a common characteristic in the kingdom of heaven.
Those who are poor in spirit know that they can’t, but they trust that God can.
If we’re honest, most of us would prefer to be rich, comfortable, and self-dependent. We would rather lack nothing. But even if we happen to be financially stable or wealthy, we cannot save our own souls.
We were created to need God.
So if you’re feeling weak, weary, or worn out, it’s okay. If you feel like you have nothing to offer, Jesus actually says that you are blessed.
When you have a need, He can meet it. When you’re not enough, He already is. And when you feel poor in spirit, you are in the perfect position to be saved and filled by God.