Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

I hadn't thought about her for a while, but God reminded me of a sweet dental patient I knew for years. Lee H. was one of those magnetic personalities....warm and funny....strong and optimistic....kind and full of Southern grit. Her spirit was bold and bright, but her body was greatly damaged from childhood polio. Although her arms were almost completely useless to her, she kept her mouth immaculate. She would press her electric toothbrush to the counter with her left arm--the one she could control a bit. Then she would sit in a chair and move her mouth around the brush until she finished.

Before she died, she suffered greatly with post-polio symptoms. She was on many medications that dried her mouth out at night. She wore a CPAP mask for oxygen which also caused dryness. Most mornings, she would wake up with her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth and her cheeks totally dry. Nothing in her mouth would move.

She came up with an ingenious plan to deal with that problem. She lay in bed and began to dream of strawberries, her favorite food! Juicy, sweet, perfectly ripe strawberries became her focus. Before long, those thoughts began to affect her salivary glands. Slowly, moisture started to flow in her parched and depleted mouth. Her craving for sweet strawberries had the desired result of life in her mouth.

After thinking about Lee's situation and her solution, I realized there were two "take-aways" that fit this Beatitude:

FIRST:  WHAT WE SET OUR MINDS ON WHEN WE'RE HUNGRY AND THIRSTY DETERMINES THE OUTCOME

Lee could have bemoaned her situation, but she set her mind on strawberries. We need to set our minds on Christ.

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it." Psalm 81:10

The Beatitudes were given near the beginning of Jesus' ministry. Toward the end of His ministry, Jesus instituted Communion. He knew we were great at wandering and forgetting, so He reminded the disciples, "Do this in remembrance of Me." We set our minds and hearts on Jesus, our Righteousness. We taste and see that the Lord is good. The Bread of Life and our Living Water satisfies us. We may come to Him depleted and dry as dust, but Jesus brings us life.

SECOND:  THE INTENSITY OF OUR HUNGER & THIRST FOR GOD WILL AFFECT THE OUTCOME

As we are told to hunger and thirst for righteousness, Jesus shows us we must be "starving after righteousness." JN Darby has a great quote about hungering. He says,

"To be hungry is not enough. I must be really starving to know what is God's heart toward me. When the Prodigal Son was hungry he went to feed on the husks of the pigs, but when he was starving he went to his father."

We learn we cannot be satisfied eating pig slop. We must become empty and restless in our chasing after second-bests. We must be craving and yearning for the righteousness only Jesus can give. We must be poor in spirit and mourning over our "dry as dust" condition. Our spiritual stomachs are God-shaped and only He can fill us and leave us satisfied.

Warren Wiersbe, in "Heirs of the King," says,

"Whatever you need, says Jesus, I AM. Man's name is "I AM NOT"; we just don't have what it takes to make it alone. But God's name is I AM, and His mighty resources are available to us."

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

by Peggy Farina