The Beatitudes Part 1: Exalted Happiness

Note: This post is part one in a series of eight posts on the Beatitudes.


Jesus Christ in love has charted the way to happiness for you. On the scenic slopes overlooking The Sea of Galilee, He spoke eight utterances that form milestones on the road to happiness.  Obedience to them brings happiness.

The pursuit of happiness for many people ends in a freakish traffic jam.  Motors keep accelerating, but nobody can move.  This has caused many to forget their pursuit of happiness and wrap themselves in a cocoon of cynicism.

This in no way speaks of financial poverty being a virtue. It is poverty in spirit that is the intent. 

This kind of happiness differs in kind from ours by definition.  Our’s is dependent on happenstance, that is, conditions and circumstances.  The happiness of which Christ spoke is independent of circumstances. 

The Greek word “Ptocho,” translated poor, describes a beggar who lives off the alms of another.  He is speaking of the poor in spirit not the poor-spirited, not dejection, self-pity, those without backbone or “stuffin.”

As the physically poor are dependent on others so we who are poor in spirit have come to the realization that we are personally spiritually bankrupt and dependent.

The good news is preceded by the bad news. That is only when a person realizes they are lost, poor in spirit, and need the good news are they open to the gospel.

Not to admit poverty of spirit is self-deception. Abject poverty of spirit results in reliance on Christ for resources.

The poor in spirit consider themselves stewards not collectors.  They are to use what they receive to the glory of God not for their own greed.  Substance is theirs with which to serve not to save.  

To be poor in spirit involves: humility, submission, gratitude, contentment.

I pity the poor, for they think riches would answer all their needs.

I pity the rich, for they know riches won’t meet our needs.

I rejoice with those who know and experience the truth of which Christ spoke and who are truly poor in spirit but rich in the faith.

(A) Avoid comparisons.
(B) Realize your weaknesses.   
(C) Hedge against pride

The poor in spirit avoid the pitfall of pride.

“God resists the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.”  (James 4:6)

The poor in spirit realize themselves to be conductors of praise on its way to the supreme source, Christ.

There has never been a supremely happy egotist. The cavernous capacity of a narcissist for recognition is like a bottomless pit. The consuming lust for self-elevating flattery depletes one’s friends.

The result is blessedness.  Blessed translates the word “macaria.” The Island of Cyprus was once called Macaria because it was alleged to be able to produce and provide all that man could require or desire.

The poor (ptochos) are beggars of God who can make them blessed (macaria).  He can give to the poor in spirit all that they require and desire. That is true happiness.

Spiritual poverty is the beginning of spiritual nobility.