Blessed are the poor in spirit… (Matthew 5:3, NASB, emphasis added)
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (John 10:10, Amplified)
May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in heavenly realm! (Ephesians 1:3, Amplified)
The first key word to be understood is blessed. A study of the word blessed in the Beatitudes reveals that this word is often translated happy and is more spiritual in nature than the more contemporary Greek words for happy.
The People’s New Testament says, “The word blessed is first applied to God, and means more than happy, as it has sometimes been translated. Happiness comes from earthly things; blessedness comes from God. It is not bestowed arbitrarily; a reason follows each beatitude.”
The Jamison, Fausset and Brown Commentary adds, “Blessed — Of the two words which our translators render blessed, the one here used points more to what is inward, and so might be rendered happy, in a lofty sense; while the other denotes rather what comes to us from without.”
In addressing blessed as used in the Beatitudes Kenneth Wuest in Treasures From the Greek New Testament comments, “Their prosperity consists of heaven’s blessings. Their spiritual condition is prosperous.”
Because we in this blog are concerned with building Christian character, blessedness or happiness is the direct byproduct of the process of being poor in spirit. The fruit of the work of character building is being blessed; both in the temporal and eternal manifestations (can be experienced both on earth and in heaven). We are blessed now in this world and will be blessed in the world to come.
For our purposes we will look at being blessed as becoming spiritually full; possessing the abundant happiness that comes from God (John 10:10 and Ephesians 1:3). When we do a self-assessment of our lives there should be this fruit of being spiritually full (Ephesians 5:18). This is because Christian character naturally produces fruit, because character is the real you. While starting this study I have to admit I found that this fruit was microscopic in my life thanks to the most powerful microscope, the Holy Spirit. So at this point our desire should be to become ever increasingly fruitful in this area. Character development starting with poor in spirit is what we are going after to accomplish this fullness. I pray that if you are in the same state of bearing little fruit that you will continue with me in development of more fruit as we move on to this particular Beatitude.
Begin to pray for God’s blessing in your life and to desire to become spiritually full by becoming poor in spirit while studying all the Scriptural references that deal with the character trait that this first Beatitude is talking about in great men and women of the Bible and the writings of the Prophets, Psalmists, Wisdom Writers, and Apostles. The lessons are there, but the challenge is to desire this character of being poor in spirit.