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Joyful Desperation!

Perhaps some of you have heard a popular Christian song on the airwaves that has the phrase, "I'm desperate for You, I'm desperate for You, I'm lost without You, I'm desperate for You!" It is sung passionately to our Great God.

Did you know that the Bible speaks of this same wonderful Joy that God gives to a person when he or she is truly desperate for Him?. 

Looking at the relevant text found in the gospels we find the following:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 5:3)

What exactly is the Lord speaking of in the above beatitude? Firstly, it must be understood that, "Blessed" means, how happy! Well, to begin with all of us understand that, "poor" denotes having little or not enough. In short, it implies that one is in need. The Lord says the ones that have this "spiritual" poverty are blessed or truly happy. Have you ever been "desperate" for something? The athlete who has exerted himself strenuously, losing vital electrolytes and water, becomes desperate for replenishment otherwise he can dehydrate and suffer weakness even to the point of death. The same is true of the desert nomad who, without knowing the location of the nearest water source and availing himself of it, can die. A person who cannot breathe on his own desperately needs CPR and/or the oxygen tank. A man needs to know that without God, he will die. Applying this understanding to our spiritual lives, we see that only people who realize that they desperately need the Lord and draw nigh unto Him are blessed to the point of being able to receive the kingdom of Heaven.

Do you feel poor as you stand or kneel before the Lord? Are you desperate for the Lord God of Heaven and Earth as you go through your day (and night)? Again, the thought here is a spiritual one.


Brokeness in Spirit


It is more than just an admonition to stay humble. In the Scriptures, the Lord repeatedly tells us that He is near to those who are broken in spirit and contrite in heart. (Ps. 34:18, Ps 51:17, Is. 57:15, Is. 66:2) A constant awareness of our utter unworthiness in and of oneself and a corresponding urgent need for the Lord equals spiritual poverty. It is a way of life that one chooses, intentional and not just incidental.

The rebuke the Lord gave to King Saul through the prophet Samuel was that when he was, "little in his own sight", God made him great. (1Samuel 15:17) He was doing well when he knew he was nothing without God. We know the tragic and awful end of Saul as he chose to become big and proud and self-sufficient in his own sight. He foolishly thought he could live and act independently of God and His Life-giving commands. He was not poor in spirit.

How many of us are no longer, "small in our own sight"? Perhaps, we have gained some blessings from the Lord, spiritual and material. Perhaps, we have gained a little more Bible knowledge or have been used of the Lord in some good works. That's all well and good. But we are no longer poor in spirit. No longer "small" and needy in our own sight and in the sight of our Lord. We have lost sight of the truth that without Jesus we can do nothing. We have chosen to forget that we are desperately impoverished without Him. The truth however, is that we will always be in desperate need of His Presence and Goodness.


The Lord is Vital to our Spiritual Existence as well as our Physical Life


We need the Lord Jesus as desperately as the branch needs to remain in the Vine for life. (John 15) Otherwise, we die. Again it is not a one-time need before one gets saved but a continual need.

Do we know the joy of this desperation today? Is your spirit poor today before God? Are you truly broken and contrite in spirit? Can you really answer in the affirmative to the questions posed here?

Do we realize that He is more vital to our existence and life than air and water are to our physical lives? Do we see ourselves literally in this way each and every day, moment by moment? It is a joyful desperation for the Living God.

My soul thirsteth for GOD, for the LIVING GOD: when shall I come and appear before GOD? Psalm 42:2

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the LIVING GOD. Psalm 84:2



Heaven is the inheritance of those who realize that they are continually in desperate need for Jesus and long for His enriching Truth, satisfying Love and All sufficient Presence. Would you be rich today, dear friend? Would you gain Heaven itself? Then be poor in spirit. For truly, when we are poor in spirit then are we rich in the Lord.

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3)


© 2010 Pastor Pradeep Emmanuel Stephen

[Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end.]