“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Hunger and thirst are common, daily experiences for us. When we are hungry and thirsty, we may put up with it for a time, but there’s a desire to leave those feelings, to leave that temporary state of being uncomfortable behind, isn’t there? What we’re hungry for, we are focused on. We want to be satisfied, to feel satisfied. We want more. We need more. We want to be full.
As we know well, there are many things that wet our appetites beyond food and drink. Whether it be the latest show we want to “binge watch”, sports or entertainment, thrills, even the struggle of temptations with addictions or lusts, etc.- rightly or wrongly, we want to get our fill. The sad truth with some appetites is that we’re never truly satisfied. We always want more and more. But here in the Beatitudes, our Lord Jesus puts a spiritual spotlight of having a spiritual appetite for righteousness before us. Do you have such an appetite? What should our hunger and thirst look like? What is Jesus talking about here? God’s blessing is upon those who hunger and thirst for it, upon those who have a strong desire to be forgiven, right with God, and live in a manner that’s pleasing to Him.
Yet, we aren’t confident in our own righteousness like the Pharisees were. For our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We recognize that we don’t inherently possess righteousness in and of ourselves. The righteousness of Christ has been given to us and placed on our account. As children of God, we are called to walk rightly before the Lord, by His Spirit, according to His Word. The Pharisees believed that they were righteous and that their righteousness gave them favor with God. Further, they then despised others. Remember the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). Both went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee thanked God for his own righteousness. The tax collector humbly pleaded God’s mercy upon him, a sinner.
Our hunger and thirst for righteousness should be pleading God’s mercies and work in us, like the tax collector. It should be like Zacharias in Luke 1:74-75, where Zacharias blessed God for visiting and redeeming His people, going on to ask that God would “grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”
Brothers and sisters, when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, as we desire to be right with God, we will also desire to be reconciled with others. We desire to see God’s righteous ways vindicated and His honor defended, and what is right carried out. We desire to see what is just and right implemented in every area of life, in accordance with God’s Word. Further, we press on to serve our God in holiness and righteousness knowing God’s great and gracious promise- we will be filled! God doesn’t leave us to serve as those who are spiritually starving. He doesn’t tease us with mere morsels either. We are wonderfully and fully fed and watered by Christ. We always will be fully satisfied by Him. We will be satisfied with the holiness God gives us. May this warm and comfort your heart. May this promise give you great joy in your Savior and His work in and for you. Praise the Lord!
Know His grace, peace, and provision today.