“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
– Matthew 5:6 NASB
This is one of the Beatitudes. They come at the beginning of “The Sermon on the Mount” – three chapters near the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew that have changed anyone who has ever taken them seriously.
This particular beatitude describes what made Jesus tick…and what makes those who love Him tick. It describes an appetite you should never try to suppress or curb.
What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? It means craving to do what is right. Have you noticed that most people hunger and thirst for things besides righteousness? People crave money…or fame…or good looks…or to be cool…or to be accepted…or to be in charge…or to get their way…or a hundred other things. Most people just aren’t that into doing what is right. And when they are, it’s either doing what’s right in their own eyes or doing what’s right in the eyes of people whose approval they crave. Where are the people who want more than anything else to do what is right in the sight of God?
Jesus of Nazareth distinguished Himself from the rest of humanity by hungering and thirsting for righteousness so much that He would not change His course to avoid crucifixion when He had the chance. His hunger to do the will of God defined His life and established an example we can all follow.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about this particular beatitude is the promise that comes with it: “for they shall be satisfied.” How can such a desire be satisfied? In Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus satisfies our hunger and thirst for righteousness by revealing more and more of Himself to us day by day. And the more we see of Him, the more we are able to see.
Remember that Jesus lived a life of suffering and glory. The suffering came from human beings, the glory came from God. It’ll be just that way for you and me, too. Be prepared to love until it hurts. Jesus loved until it hurt…and then some.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Father and Lord, thank You for showing us that love should endure all things. In demonstrating how much You love us, You have empowered us to follow Your example. In the day that lies before me, how can and should my love similarly endure all obstacles?…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.