God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (NLT)
Some people are so poor, all they have is money. Their material wealth can buy lots of comforts and enjoyable toys to spice up their lives, but being rich or being poor is much more than the state of our material assets. Not having much money is not a virtue in itself. It can be distinctly painful and frustrating. Just as having lots of money is no sure sign of God’s favour.
So it is best to reconsider the whole idea of poverty when Jesus speaks as he does about the blessings of being poor. Poverty can refer to any sphere of our life where we feel deprived or insecure. It could be lack of self-confidence, or ill health. It could be lack of friendship, or a lingering mental illness. Poverty can take many different shapes.
And it is in that poverty that God can come to us. Elsewhere, the Scriptures speak of God’s strength being experienced most clearly in our human weakness. Rather than conceal or deny our poverty in whatever shape it is taking, we are to see it as an opportunity for God to reveal himself and experience something of his power in our poverty.
Being poor in any sense is not comfortable. But it can be the place where our God is discovered or rediscovered. It may be that it is only as we confront our emptiness that the grace and power of God can fill it. Or putting it another way, we best experience his comfort when we experience our discomfort.