Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
The idea of righteousness is linked to the belief that God is the designer of human life. Follow this train of thought: in regard to the origin of your life, there are only two options. Either you are a biological accident generated by an impersonal process of evolution, or you were created by God. The first way of thinking leads to despair; the second leads to hope. If you were created by God, then your life has meaning and purpose. The pursuit of righteousness is the desire to live as God intended. By hungering for this life, you will pursue it. And by pursuing this life, you can obtain the blessing of God. In pronouncing this blessing, Jesus is encouraging us that the pursuit of righteousness is not a vanity. We can indeed live as God intended, obtain the favor of God, and receive God’s many blessings.
Lord God, help me to live according to your design. Give me a hunger for righteousness, that I might pursue it, obtain it, and receive your blessing.
For the Christian believer, the desires of our soul fall into two general categories: our natural passions and the new desires of the Spirit. These are in opposition to each other. Before we knew Christ, we had only natural inclinations so we lived according to the values and principles of the world. When we came to Christ, he put his Holy Spirit within us to renovate our souls. Now we desire to live according to God’s will. Yet our natural inclinations are still with us, and so we struggle between the two.
While we will undoubtedly face many failures in the process of our reorientation, we will also have many successes! And each success leads us one more step in the right direction. Each day can be a little victory that prepares us for the next stage of growth. Even our failures can serve God’s purposes, for when we fall into sin, the Spirit convicts us of the need for growth in that area. Hungering for righteousness is not a pleasant experience, but it is necessary for our growth. Spiritual hungering points us in the right direction and leads us toward the spiritual food that satisfies us. So pay attention to your spiritual hungering, for the Holy Spirit is showing you the next blessing God has in store.