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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Elson

Destitute and Grieving

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted Matthew 5:3-4 ESV

When the word poverty comes to mind, what do you think of? Some of us may think of the homeless person on the street. Others think of children in third-world countries that lack nutrition and access to healthcare. For some, poverty means the lack of employment or living one day at a time. Poverty is a genuine problem that has plagued society for what seems like eons.

Those living back in biblical times knew poverty all too well. Many lived day to day on little money. When Jesus starts the beatitudes with Blessed are the poor, some would suggest that he is talking about financial poverty when in fact, he is speaking of another type of poverty. Let’s take a look at our first beatitude. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Who exactly are the poor in spirit? Those who are spiritually poor are those who recognize that they are destitute spiritually because of sin. What Jesus is saying is, before one can enter God’s kingdom, they must first acknowledge their spiritual poverty and realize there is nothing they can do to save themselves.

Now let’s look at the second beatitude. Believe it or not, the two go together. Verse 4 says, “Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The first part sounds a bit like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I know I don’t feel blessed when I’m grieving, so what does this mean? It means mourning over what is making us spiritually poor…our sin. We grieve over our choices, mistakes, and outright defiance towards God. It’s mourning that leads to repentance, a turning from sin, and turning towards Jesus, who is the only one who can save us from our sins. We are then comforted knowing that our sins are forgiven.

Do you see how these two beatitudes go together? To be a disciple of Christ, we first must realize the mess we are in without God. We spiritually are poor. We then realize that it is our sin that separates us from God. We turn and repent from sin and accept Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross as the only means to save us. Then, the Kingdom of God becomes ours, and we are comforted.

If you have questions or want to place your faith in Jesus alone for your salvation. Contact me at I would be happy to talk with you.

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