THE BEATITUDES: THE POOR AND SORROWFUL

Blessedness is the spiritual state of the person who fears the God and does His will, and who puts his trust in Jesus.  It is the well-being and joy of those who share in the salvation of God and so are citizens of His Kingdom.  The source of blessedness is in Messiah from God.

The spiritual desire for these attributes of blessedness which Jesus gives is both the condition of divine blessedness and also the result of blessedness — God’s indwelling of the human heart.  “Both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Heb. 2:11)  There is unity, oneness as we are joined to the Lord in identity and purpose (1Cor. 6:17).

Mt. 5:3    Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs (of them) is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Lk. 6:20  Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Both the poor in spirit and the poor in the natural can be blessed.

     –Jesus, and the apostles after Him, accept the fact that there are rich and poor people in the world.  Jesus satisfies the soul, Jesus feeds the hungry.  Both poverty and riches are a relative thing in this world, even within one’s own culture (e.g., Bedouins here; Israel compared to former home; slaves).

    –In God’s view, the poor need not be miserable, even if the world views them as such.  If the physically poor — whether economically or in health or in intelligence — commit themselves to God and trust in His goodness and sovereign control over their lives, they can be blessed in their own spirits, and bring glory to the God of all mercies.

  –It is evident that wealth is not a key to happiness, however much it is a blessing to have the food, clothing, housing and other opportunities to enjoy some of the good things that are by God’s grace in this life. (Prov. 13:7)  (consider Lot and Abraham)

  –HUMILITY OF SPIRIT brings God’s blessedness:  to be dependent on God and not to develop an independent or self-sufficient attitude.

     —Ps. 34:6-9,18 [7-10,19 Heb.] – the Kingdom of God is present now in the heart of the one who knows the emptiness of his own soul without the LORD (the Lord Jesus Christ)

     —Rev. 2:8-11 – poor yet rich, we have spiritual victory through faith in Jesus the Overcomer

     —Mt. 18:3 – trusting and dependent like little children upon their Father and Mother

How, Why are the poor blessed?  Because of them is the Kingdom of God!  The poor can know now the present reality of the Kingdom of God in your heart, and the certain future hope of living in the blessedness of God’s presence forever.  But whether rich or poor now, it is to the poor in spirit to whom the Kingdom belongs.  It is not something to be earned, but rather a gift to be thankfully and lovingly received from our Father in Heaven through being a disciple of Jesus.

True and spiritual worship begins with this, when we submit all of our self to God — our bodies, our conscience, our thoughts and imagination, our emotions, our will, our hearts, our very life —  believing that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).

Mt. 5:4       Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Lk. 6:21 b  Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

    –The mourning and weeping of which the Lord speaks here is not the grief which naturally follows, for example, the death of a loved one or of a personal injury or disease.  Such sadness is normal for any person.  The Lord Jesus is referring to grief in the heart because of sin, rather than for the consequences of sin.

   –Godly sorrow leads us to Christ and His sacrifice for sin:  the sin of the world and our own.  Our willingness and our sensitivity to suffer or to endure grief in the right way for the right reason brings honor to God.  The suffering of Jesus on the cross brought the thief and the centurion to extol Him; Paul and Silas singing in the jail despite their pain caused the jailer and others to recognize  the blessedness of the true Christian.  

   –In doing the will of God in our life, which essentially is to serve others, we will suffer and mourn and weep over our own shortcomings, weaknesses, failures, sins, as well as over the unthankfulness and hard-heartedness of some we serve.  Parents mourn and weep over their children who refuse proper chastening and discipline.  We grieve over loved ones who seem indifferent to the truth of Jesus.  We feel the grief of our Father in Heaven when He speaks of His own people being stubborn and stiff-necked, refusing to submit to His ways of wisdom and love.

   –The apostle Paul rebuked the leadership of the Corinthian assembly for not dealing with obvious sin within its jurisdiction.  Paul afterwards commended them for receiving his reproof and correction and for acting responsibly in a godly way that showed they felt the sin on their part and their responsibility to the flock for Christ’s sake (2Cor. 7:10-11)

   –Godly sorrow and weeping is also expressed over the sins of others, of the world, of the Church.  Jeremiah (9:1) wept over the slain of the daughter of his people; the psalmist (119:136) weeps because of those who do not keep God’s law, just as believers cry for revival of the Body of Christ which is indifferent  to the Lord Jesus and His cross.  God looks upon those who weep and mourn over the conditions around them which He must righteously judge, placing His mark upon them to pass over them when the judgment comes (Ezek. 9:4; Rev. 7:3).    

    –Godly sorrow leads to a changed heart and spirit, not merely a temporary change of mind, like with Pharaoh or with King Saul.  Godly sorrow leads to repentance like Job, who said that he would sin no more when he discovered by God’s grace his own iniquity (Job 34:32)It is only when we realize the evil that is within ourselves — and mourn over it and look to God for His deliverance — that we will know the blessedness of His comfort:  the Lord is near the broken-hearted and saves those who have a contrite spirit (Ps. 34:18 [19 Heb.].

There will be times and circumstances chosen by God for us where we may find ourselves poor or hungry or weeping for His sake.  But then His precious promises come to encourage, strengthen, and comfort us: He forgives our sins; the Kingdom of Heaven is ours from our Father as an inheritance to His children in Christ; we shall be comforted; we will laugh.  God’s purposes for us now is to become like Him in character while we serve Him until Jesus returns for us.

Let us remember that Jesus is telling His disciples what was in His own essence and work, building their reservoir of faith for times of doubt, trials, testing, suffering.  He calls us to become like Him and to love those who follow Him.  As we do we will prove ourselves to be sons and daughters of God, heirs of His Kingdom with Christ, light and salt in this world for Jesus’ sake, the beloved Son of our Father.  In the presence (and presents!) of His love, we will rejoice exceedingly more than we can imagine or ask.

Ps. 126: 5-6   Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
                       He who continually goes forth weeping bearing seed for sowing, shall certainly come again with rejoicing, carrying his                     sheaves!

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