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The Pursuit of Happiness

What would it take for you to be happy? Jesus actually taught about how to pursue happiness or the blessed life in what we call the Beatitudes, captured at the beginning of His sermon on the mount in Matthew 5.

A lot of people might say that a happy, or blessed, life is enjoying a great marriage, or gifted children, or a successful career, or financial prosperity or worldwide travel. And no doubt all of those would be rich blessings; but it’s interesting that when Jesus taught about being blessed, He never mentioned any of those examples. According to Jesus, the greatest blessings are not found in the places we normally look, but in the places we don’t, the places we may not be inclined to go. If you haven’t read them, take a moment to read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-10.

Have you ever found yourself stuck, stymied or stagnant in your faith journey? A lot of Believers find themselves there and as a result, they get really discouraged and disappointed with their growth. The Beatitudes show us what it means to fully follow Jesus and they offer us a roadmap for pursuing the blessed life! The first Beatitude provides the starting point…

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

What does it mean to be poor in spirit? We know that being poor means to be impoverished. So to be poor in spirit is to recognize our poverty before God; to experience the humility that comes from being in His presence. (Ref. Isaiah 6:1-5). The truth is, you can’t be prideful when Christ is present in your life. If you’re struggling with pride, draw near to God and your pride will disappear. When you are truly poor in spirit, you know that no matter what you’ve achieved, or may achieve, in life, you come before God with absolutely nothing.

Being poor in spirit also involves trusting in God and doubting ourselves. That may seem contrary to what our culture teaches us. In fact, in culture, you will be taught to trust in yourself and to doubt God. But the Bible tells us:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5

When you are truly poor in spirit, you know that all you achieve in life doesn’t come from yourself, but from the Lord at work in you. You will echo the words of the Psalmist and the Apostle Paul…

8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.

With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

We Christ-followers find our confidence in Him, not in ourselves. God has a way of making us poor in spirit; in fact, He can use brutal circumstances in your life to do that. When you get to the place in life where you think, “I can’t do this,” you are at that place where God can and will do His best and greatest work in you! That is where God develops the strongest, most inspiring testimonies. When we admit our weakness, God shows His power, His might, His strength. When you are there, you will know what it is to be truly blessed.

There are many ways God blesses us when we are poor in spirit. To discover five ways you will be blessed when you are poor in spirit, click here to listen to: The Blessed Life: Journey Through the Beatitudes - Part 1 - I Bring Nothing.


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