In the Beatitudes, I’ve wondered why Jesus gave the “poor in spirit” an immediate blessing, while most of the other groups faced a waiting period. I believe it is because the others were contingent upon keeping their end of the bargain; on them remaining as they were. They had to finish what they had started. God’s promises are genuine but conditional. Those who are “poor in spirit” however, have already been tried and proven faithful, not by anything they did, but what God did to them. This process is far from easy. Many do not make it through, and yet for those that do, their reward is immediate and great.
To be “poor in spirit” means you are spiritually bankrupt. You have nothing left. What is interesting though is to be bankrupt means you had something to begin with. These people did not start out poor, in a spiritual sense. Treasures of revelations and insights may have been flooding their spirits on a daily basis. They may have had times with God that many of us have never had. A shift happened though and now they are so destitute they have nothing to give. Whereas once beautiful rivers flowed in their very backyard, they are now forced to plead for mere drops of water to sustain themselves. Essentially they went from having a seat at the table with the King, to holding out their hands outside the castle gates as a desperate beggar.
The key to these people is in the process. Unlike most of the beatitudes, this one we do not initiate, control, or end. It is all up to God and His timing. This process is what ultimately creates the brokenness referred to in Psalms 51:17 “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” That is why there is such an extreme difference between being humble and being broken. Humility is simply a lowering. Brokenness is a complete taking away without the assurance of it being returned the same way. God wants a broken heart, essentially a bankrupt heart, so He can refill it on the day He so chooses. What we can rest in is His promise that day will come. When it does, He not only will offer us a seat at His table where His decisions are made, but a place in His chambers where all His deepest secrets are revealed.
You are allowed such an honor because you have given Him a most beautiful and pleasing sacrifice that David spoke of. A contrite heart that is created in the fires of your own anguish and remorse over sin and a faithfulness that was birthed from knowing what it means to be both on the outside looking in and the inside looking out. Ultimately, brokenness yields an unshakeable faithfulness and that is what God is after. Brokenness is not the end but merely a means to the end – to create an unstoppable, everlasting, faithful force called true love.