Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Afflictions and troubles should be sufficient to keep God’s people “poor in spirit.” Indeed that is one reason why God allows them to press in on His people. While it is true that burdens press all down, yet it is also true that not all are made poor “in spirit” thereby. Many continue proud, even become angry. As Calvin says; “Many are pressed down by distresses, and yet continue to swell inwardly with pride and cruelty.“ God’s people should not allow their afflictions to make them lash out and blame others, or murmur, moan and complain. The cross of affliction should produce inward humility and running to God as our refuge and strength. God sends the cross to His people to make them good, not to make them bad. True humility is good.
“It deserves our attention, that he only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit: for they who are broken or overwhelmed by despair murmur against God, and this proves them to be of a proud and haughty spirit” (John Calvin).