What Are You Hungry For?

Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  For they shall be filled.

This past weekend, I had the blessing of helping out with an event dubbed the DiscipleNow Weekend.  The speaker, Brian Burgess, gave two tremendous messages.  I learned some new things, and did some additional study on my own to understand the principles Brian laid out.  This blog is the result of this study.

Hunger and thirst are two of the most basic human conditions.  Merriam-Webster.com defines hunger as “a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient.”  Thirst is defined as “a sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat associated with a desire for liquids; also : the bodily condition (as of dehydration) that induces this sensation”

God created human beings with the need to eat and drink.  When we don’t get the food and water we need, we develop extreme cravings for them.  Hunger is one of the strongest motivational forces on people. This motivation is not just physical in nature, but psychological as well. Science recognizes two types of hungers; one is caused physiologically, and the other is caused psychologically. What makes people different from animals is that we eat not only to satiate physiological hunger, but we also eat to satiate psychological hunger as well.

Haitian Dirt Cookies

Haitian Dirt Cookies

Hunger is a huge global problem.  People will go to great lengths to satiate their hunger and thirst.  Even before the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, starving people would eat dirt to stave off starvation.  They make cookies out of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening.  The cookies have little nutrition value, but can keep a person alive for a bit longer than not eating at all.

Thirst is also a global problem.  According to http://thewaterproject.org/:

  • More than 1 in 8 people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water.
  • 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.
  • Nearly 80% of illness in developing countries is linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.

There is another kind of hunger and thirst – spiritual.  God created human beings in His image.  Unlike animals, God created humans to be spiritual beings.  We were created to have a relationship with God.  That relationship between God and mankind was severed when Adam and Eve sinned against God.  Because of that separation, human beings are born in a state of spiritual starvation.  We have a spiritual hunger and thirst for a relationship with God that we cannot fill.

Humans go to great lengths to try to satisfy their spiritual hunger.  We have created many religions; we fill our lives with activities, beliefs, causes, and ambitions.  But, none of these things can satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst all people experience.  We’re spiritually starved, and we resort to eating spiritual dirt in an attempt to quench the hunger and thirst.

What did Jesus mean when He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?”  To be blessed means to have “pleasure, contentment, or good fortune.”  God’s righteousness is the natural manifestation of His holiness. Because He is infinitely pure, He must be opposed to all sin.  When the Bible says that God is righteous, we are guaranteed that His actions toward us are in perfect conformity with His holy nature.  When a person receives Jesus Christ as Savior, God’s righteousness is imputed on the believer.  In other words, God considers the Christian to be righteous, because of Christ’s righteousness.  However, because Christians still exist in in sinful bodies with fallen minds, they cannot actually live righteous lives.  When a Christian “hungers and thirsts” for righteousness, he or she craves the righteousness of God.  God’s righteousness is the only thing that can satisfy the spiritual craving inherent in every human being.  Many things in life can bring a limited pleasure and contentment; but only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ can truly satiate our cravings.

The question is, what do you hunger and thirst for?

If you are not a Christian, do you crave a relationship with God?  Or, are you satisfied with the spiritual dirt you’ve been eating?

If you are a Christian, what do you crave?  Do you crave other people’s approval, success, possessions, or self-worth?  Or, do you crave God’s righteousness in your life?  Is the most important thing in your life your relationship with Jesus Christ, and serving Him?  Or, do you just live for yourself?  When a Christian chooses to live for self rather than for Jesus Christ, it’s like a person being surrounded with the most satisfying food and drink on earth, yet choosing to eat dirt cookies and drink filthy water.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  The only true contentment that exists for our spiritual craving is a right standing before our Creator.  The craving can only be satisfied when we have received Jesus Christ as Savior, and choose to live our lives completely for Him.