“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Hunger and thirst are the most powerful forces our physical bodies experience. They compel us to do whatever it takes to give our bodies the food and water they need to function properly and be healthy. In an article for Forbes titled “Hunger Beats Fear As Nature’s Strongest Motivator” JV Chamary wrote, “Hunger is even stronger than fear, a vital emotion that helps protect prey animals from being killed. Given a choice between a dangerous location containing food and staying in a safe zone, hungry mice would spend more time in the scary place. In nature's ranking of motivations, hunger comes out on top. This suggests that when food is available, the brain circuits that control feeding behavior will suppress the activity of neurons that regulate other behaviors.”
Although Chamary was speaking of physical hunger, I believe the same truth can be applied to us spiritually. If fear is our second strongest motivator, that means the only thing stronger is our hunger. The only way we can overcome our fear of failure, or our fear of obeying God’s calling, or our fear of not giving into our sinful desires, or our fear of submitting to God and letting go of everything else is by allowing our hunger for righteousness drive us.
The word “righteousness” in the Bible is very rich and has many different applications, but my favorite general definition of it is “the situation in which things are what they ought to be.” To hunger and thirst for righteousness then is to long for things to be the way the way our Father and Creator meant them to be. We see this desire most clearly in Jesus Christ. He had a perfect relationship with His Father, He lived a perfect life of inner conduct and character, and He served the world around Him in love and humility.
If we want to be filled, if we want to overcome fear and be beneficial to the world around us, and if we want to be pleasing to our Father, we must hunger and thirst for Jesus. Let’s worship Him, be thankful for Him, and live like Him.
Join us Sunday as we continue through the beatitudes with a message titled “Hunger & Thirst”. God bless you all and hope to see you there!