Hungering and Thirsting for Righteousness

Matthew 5:6

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

As he opens the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays out for us a series of blessed attributes that belong to those who are genuinely citizens of the Kingdom of God. Here in verse 6, we see that those who truly belong to God hunger and thirst for righteousness. The result is soul-satisfaction.

Why this grabs my attention is the verbiage. Why hunger and thirst? What does that look like? What does that feel like?

We know, in simple terms, what it is like to hunger for food and thirst for water. I think many of us know what it is like to have a similar set of drives for other passions. Perhaps your hunger is for fame or acknowledgement. Perhaps it is for sexual gratification. Perhaps your thirst is for security. But I think we understand those words tied to things well beyond food.

Thus comes the question, how do we hunger and thirst after righteousness? Something has to change in us so that what we want, what we deeply desire, is not merely physical. We have to have our desires shifted so that we do not hunger for sin. We have to learn to desire that which our flesh does not naturally seek. We have to want the Lord and his righteousness.

What makes you long for righteousness? For me, the times I most want righteousness are when I am surrounded by others who also love the Lord. I find that I desire righteousness more the more I am around people who are unashamed to love the Lord, to speak his word, to share his gospel. I want righteousness more the more that I taste of it. And I am turned from righteousness the more I allow my thoughts and my heart to dwell on things that are unimportant.

A Prayer: Lord, by your mercy, please grant me a hunger and thirst for righteousness. I know that when you are my desire, you will satisfy my soul. I know that when you lead my heart, joy abounds. I know that there is life in your presence. Please, Lord, grant me an unashamed, uninhibited love for you and your word. Help me to be eager to share the gospel so that I might honor you, love others, and have the joy of knowing you better.