A Surprising Path
Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Most people have more in common than they realize. Yes we are all different, sometimes radically so, we may think differently and have different views but in many ways we are a lot alike. All people want pretty much the same thing, and one thing that we all want is happiness. We all want to experience joy, real true and lasting joy in our lives. So the question has to be where does that joy or that happiness come from?
Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount, actually at the very beginning in the part that we call, “the Beatitudes”. He says “blessed are….” The word blessed in the New Testament means happy, so Jesus is telling us how to be happy. Yet it isn’t in the ways that we would think. Happiness doesn’t come from what we own, or from what we accomplish, or from anything that is temporal. The Beatitudes make it abundantly clear that true happiness comes from a relationship with God. Jesus isn’t saying in the Beatitudes that you will be happy if you do these things, no His thinking is far beyond that. He is saying if you have a relationship with God these things will be a part of your life and through them God Himself will produce joy and happiness in your life. That is one of the problems with modern society we think we can produce our own happiness or our own joy. We might be able to temporarily but what happens? It quickly fades away. That is why for example we can buy something new and be oh so happy with it for a few days, only to see the luster fade. When that happens we go in search of something else to bring us happiness.
Unfortunately on our continual quest for more, we are missing out on true happiness. Because true happiness doesn’t come from what we can do or buy or accomplish, true happiness comes from a relationship with Almighty God. It comes from the gift that was made possible through what Jesus did on the cross FOR YOU. That is why He says “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Happy are those who are poor in spirit? That is a surprising and strange path to happiness but it is where Jesus says happiness starts.
What does “poor in spirit” mean? It means those who realize that they don’t have life figured out. Those who realize they don’t have all of the answers. What do they do then? They run to God and to His wisdom, looking for His strength and His wisdom. The beautiful thing is this, the Bible says, “if anyone is lacking in wisdom they should ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” When we realize we don’t have life figured out, we become desperate and in our desperation we cry out to God for His wisdom and He gives it to us. Joy comes from humbling ourselves before God and crying out for His help.
We all want to be happy. True happiness only has one source and that source is Jesus, so run to Him today. Humble yourself before Him, admit that you don’t have life figured out (there’s no shame in that, none of us do because life is hard and filled up with surprises), and call on His wisdom. He will give it to you and you will find joy through Him.