Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Blessed are those who know their need. Blessed are the broken. (Matthew 5:3)
I read that and thought, Huh? You gotta be kidding. Poor in spirit? Lord, this is the 21st century. Every body knows that the secret to happiness is feeling good about ourselves no matter what we do. Remember? Self-esteem is in. Broken spirits are out.
That tends to be the attitude of our culture. But look at what Paul said.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
There is an amazing story in the book of Judges about a man named Gideon. Gideon was a reluctant leader. God told him to tear down the idols in his village, so timid Gideon went out and did it after dark.
Then God told him to attack the Midianites. Gideon said, “I have to know this is a God thing.” So he took a fleece and laid it on the ground. He said, “God confirm this as being from you, put the dew on the fleece tonight, but keep it off the ground. Next day, soggy fleece, dry ground. Gideon was amazed. Then he wondered if it was some sort of fluke. Maybe I asked it wrong and it’s natural somehow for fleece to soak up the dew that might go on the ground. “God, I don’t mean to be a pain, but can we try this one more time? This time, let’s make the ground wet and the fleece dry.” Next morning, dry fleece, wet ground.
So Gideon sent a draft notice throughout Israel to conscript an army. When Gideon pulled the troops together, God looked it over and said, “Too many!” “Too many!”
How could you have too many soldiers?
God said, “Let everyone that wants to return home, go. So now there was only half left. But God said that was still too many. Gideon the reluctant warrior must have cringed. “God, what do you mean too many? We’re outnumbered as it is!
Listen to the reply.
And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, lest Israel become boastful, saying, `My own power has delivered me.’ (Judges 7:2)
God eventually reduced that army from 22,000 to 300 so that in their brokenness, He would receive glory.
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the broken, because through our brokenness we glorify God.
That’s the good news, now go have a great day.