Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3

That’s heavy. Right off the bat, Jesus just rips the band-aid off. The Message translation reads “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.”

I RESONATE with this right now. Part of it is the season of life. It’s the middle of the semester. It’s the first relatively normal semester in almost two years. Things are hard for a lot of people right now, and that is just in regards to school. It seems like almost everyone has some junk going on right now. That can be incredibly disheartening and isolating. 

Maybe you feel like you have nobody to talk to because everyone is going through it right now. Maybe you feel like your struggles are not “as bad” as somebody else’s, so talking about it seems futile. Maybe things are great for you right now, but you are overwhelmed by how many people are hurting. Your feelings are valid no matter what. Feeling the heaviness of things right now is okay. It's part of the beauty of being humans, but do not mistake the lies of the enemy for feelings. You can feel overwhelmed, but the voice in your head telling you that you shouldn’t be is a liar. The voice telling you that your problems are not as important is a liar.

Jesus chose to start his Sermon on the Mount with this verse. Why? Why start off with telling people that are at their low that they are blessed. If you are anything like me, having someone tell you everything that is good in your life while you are trying to express frustration can make you feel a lot of negative things. Like you are overreacting about your experiences, that you should be more grateful, that you need to focus on the positive. While these may be very true, the voice that often tells it is not the gentle, loving voice of Abba. It's the enemy saying “you need to be better.” It's our own internal struggle saying we need to be better. I think that Jesus really meant this as a source of encouragement. The poor in spirit can translate to many things, and some that come to mind  right now are the grieving, the tired, the weary, the burned out, the hurt. Jesus is telling us that even when we feel like we have nothing to give, no energy and effort, no talents or abilities, that we are still worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Read that. YOU are WORTHY of the Kingdom of Heaven. It's not because of anything you have done. It's because Abba loves you enough to say you are worthy. You are not worthy because of you or what you do, but rather because of Him and who He is. 

There is so much freedom in that. When you are run down and burdened, He expects nothing of you. The world will never stop expecting things from you, people will never stop expecting things from you, and there’s a solid chance you will probably never stop expecting things of yourself, but the creator of the universe says that you do not have to do anything else. Just exist. Inhale the breath of God, and when you are ready, exhale it to other people. 

Whatever it is you are going through, know that there is something so good right in front of you, and you don’t have to do anything for it because it has already been given to you. This is your encouragement and your pass to just sit and rest in the presence of God for a little bit. Invite Him into your day and into the thing or things that are causing your spirit to fall. Ask Him to manifest Himself in a clear way, to comfort you, and to provide a clear path for you. Ask Him for opportunities to rest when needed, and for energy to get through each day. You are not alone, and you do not have to do this alone. 

Find the things about yourself that are amazing today, then think about how many more things Abba can come up with.

Author | Rachel Henderson

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