“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
Look at Isaiah 26:7-11. Notice some of the words and phrases here that indicate intense desire for God and His righteousness: waited for thee, desire of our soul, yearns, my spirit longs for you. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, true righteousness, do not look to themselves for fulfillment. Instead they look to God and His righteousness.
He is the only One who can satisfy their intense desire to be right with Him, and to be made pure and holy in His eyes. Those who do not wait upon, or yearn for, the Lord and His righteous ways — those who are wicked in their ways — will not learn righteousness on their own; they will continue in their evil ways; and they will not see God’s impending judgment, nor His love for those who long for Him.
How Do We Hunger for Righteousness?
“I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.” (Psalm 143:6)
Note: David, the human author of this Psalm, is already a child of God. Yet this verse reveals his hunger and thirst to be made more like God in his spirit and in his daily walk. Righteousness is two-fold. First it is positional in Christ, for He is our Righteousness (Romans 10:4; 3:24-25). Secondly, righteousness is practical; meaning that the child of God will desire to walk in the ways of righteousness (love, peace, and holiness.)
Praying is spending time in God’s presence and pouring out our hearts before Him. In prayer, we praise God, thank Him, petition Him for our needs, intercede for others, listen to His instruction, and generally share all that is on our heart with Him. To stretch forth our hands in prayer is demonstrating our surrender to God, and expressing our need for our Father to move on our behalf.
As our soul thirsts for God, we make more and more time to be with Him, to commune with Him, and to speak our heart to Him. In these times, we are totally honest and earnest with God. The more we desire Him, the more urgent our praying will be.
By Seeking God
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:” (Joel 2:12)
Time in prayer is part of seeking God. But we do more than pray when we are fully committed to seeking God. We make every part of our life dependent upon God and centered around Him. We return to Him; and turn over every area of our life, every need, burden, desire, and hope to Him. We come before Him with all of our heart, moved to tears because of our intense desire to have more of Him and to know Him more. Those who truly hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness intensely desire to know God, and to be more and more like Jesus. Other things seem much less important compared to the joy of knowing God.
By Hating Evil
“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” (Psalm 45:7)
Those who hunger for more of God and His righteousness love everything that is of God: creation, goodness, true love for other people, kindness, real faith in Jesus, radical obedience to God, etc. But they also cannot tolerate the things that are of the devil: sin, oppression, injustice, hatred, bitterness, gossip, corruption, etc. They will stand up for what is right and condemn the things that are wrong (this does not mean putting people down and exalting yourself).
When we do this, God will bring abundant joy to you. While He does not want us to become judgmental and critical, we must treasure what is good in our hearts and not allow any wickedness to enter us. We can do this in love and gentleness. Remember our other devotions on being meek and poor in spirit.
We Shall Be Filled
We Will be Pure
“Many shall be purified, and made white and tried: but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10)
Those who desire the righteousness of God; those who are in Christ, will be made pure. We who belong to God, have been cleansed and made spotless by the blood of Jesus that He shed on the cross. Those who have not experienced this cannot be righteous without God, and thus will continue to do wickedly.
We Will be Like Jesus
“But we all, with open face beholding as within a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
For those in Christ, the veil that separates man from God has been torn away from our hearts, that we might see God’s glory and reflect it in our own hearts. As we hunger for more of God and spend more time beholding His glory, we will become more and more like Him, reflecting more of His glory to the world.
We Will be Rich
“(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” (Matthew 6:33)
This verse comes from a passage talking about how we are not to waste our time, energy, and emotions worrying about the things of the world, even necessary things like food, clothing, and a place to live. All people seek and hunger for these things, even those who don’t know God.
Instead, we are to hunger and thirst for God’s kingdom and His righteousness. In return, we are brought into His kingdom, and made righteous; and we will receive all the other things we need to survive as well. God is a good Father who takes care of those who love Him.
Please read John 6:35-40. In these verses, Jesus promises that if we come to Him, we will never hunger or thirst. God will provide for all our needs through the riches in His Son, Jesus. All that God owns — which is everything in the universe — has been given to Jesus, so if we come to Him, He will give us what we need, and His supply will never run out.
Our minds need not be concerned with the things of this world so long as our hope and faith is in God. His Word promises that He will take care of us. All we must be concerned with, then, is seeking Him and His kingdom.