Who Are the Poor in Spirit?

Greg Laurie

There is a place for laughter. And there is also a place for sorrow. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3), those who see themselves as they are and then take action. The Bible says, "For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death" (2 Corinthians 7:10). True sorrow will lead to joy, because you see your true state, decide to do something about it, and repent. But without that sorrow, there will be no joy.

Sometimes we are sorry for the repercussions of what we have done. If you are speeding and see the highway patrol in the rearview mirror, with lights flashing, you are sorry. But it is probably not because you broke the speed limit, but because you didn't look more carefully for the highway patrol. You are also sorry because your insurance rates will go up. The question is, next time will you slow down, or will you continue to speed? Sometimes we are sorry for the repercussions, but we are not sorry for the act. We are not sorry enough to stop doing it.

Happy are the poor in spirit, the people who see themselves as they really are. Happy are those who mourn; they want to do something about that condition. They sorrow over it. They repent of it. As Romans 4:8 says, "Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin." Thus, our sorrow leads to joy.

Taken from "From Sorrow to Joy" by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).

Originally published September 21, 2010.