It is neither the materially poor nor the materially rich whom the Bible calls blessed. It is the spiritually poor: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:3). To be poor in spirit means firstly to begin to realise one’s inability to give anything to God. There is nothing we might think, say or do that isn’t tainted with our original sin nature inherited from Adam. We have nothing to give and so we hold out our hands in impotent supplication. Even this supplication isn’t giving anything to God so much as showing that not any strength, not any goodness nor any righteousness dwells within.
Secondly, to be poor in spirit means to realise that our account stands not merely at zero; we are not merely neutral or null and void, so much as hideously indebted by an exorbitant amount that defies calculation. Even by the time we are a young child, the number of thoughts, words and deeds which have violated the holy law of God and been debited from our account constitutes an iceberg in the soul, weighing us down and taking us far away from God. This status is alarming, and starts to trouble those whom the Bible calls blessed.
Thirdly, to be poor in spirit means to begin to behold that most awful, spiritually towering inferno of a task which fell to our sinless Substitute, the holy Lamb of God. The apostle Paul speaks for all saved souls when he confesses himself to be less than the least of all saints (Eph 3:8), one who can only begin to fathom what his blessed Sin-bearer did for him. Once we feel our spiritual poverty, we marvel with Paul at the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8). We rejoice and yet follow the next link in that sacred eightfold chain: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Mt 5:4).
The illuminating joy of our justification is too often clouded by the presence of ongoing, indwelling sins. Behold therefore, that glorious, everlasting realm to come, in which there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying (Rev 21:4), and the Lamb is the light thereof (Rev 21:23).