Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
In the first three Beatitudes, Jesus focused upon His followers’ recognition of their emptiness: “poor in spirit,” “mournful over sin,” and “meek, not defending ourselves.”
As a result of our emptiness, we crave something to fill us.
Like Isaiah when he saw God, we must come to the realization that God is holy and we are unclean.
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Isaiah 6:5
To hunger is to “crave ardently,” and those who thirst “painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened …” according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.
This fourth Beatitude tells us what will satisfy that craving … righteousness.
Twice in the Beatitudes, Jesus mentions “righteousness,” and three more times in the rest of His Sermon on the Mount. Righteousness is important to Jesus.
Jesus tells us that our righteousness must exceed that of the religious leaders. The righteousness that we hunger and thirst for cannot be found in rituals, traditions, or things that the world values.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. … Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.'” Matthew 6:33-35
Righteousness is found in Jesus.
“you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,” 1 Corinthians 1:30
When I had fibromyalgia, I craved a day without pain. I went on special diets, tried new supplements, and even tried some risky medicines, all for a day or two without pain. And yet, during those nights of sleeplessness, I found myself praying to see God’s glory, to get closer to Him. The more pain, the more of His presence I felt.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
As I delighted in the Lord’s presence, my heart’s desires changed, and my prayers changed. I craved more of God. During this time, I was reading A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God,
nothing to do with healing, and yet, everything to do with healing. I began pursuing God.
I was hungry and thirsty for more of God. I couldn’t get enough of Him.
God gave me more than a physical healing; He gave me more of Him. He gave me a keener sense of His working in and around my life.
I know that the Beatitude says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied, and I know that we will be satisfied in heaven, but on this earth, I don’t want to be satisfied. I want to continue to pursue God and ask Him for more of Himself, so that I can point people to Jesus.
“Make it the passion and the hunger and the thirst of your life to do great acts of righteousness.” John Piper
How are you pursuing righteousness?
Please share this post with others and make the pursuit of God your passion.
Father, thank You for the hunger and thirst for You that has been placed in our hearts. May our passion for righteousness cause us to work great acts of righteousness that will point people to You. To You be all the glory, majesty and honor! Amen