Blessed are Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness 2-5-20
By Dr. Jim Riley
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
What did Jesus mean by the poor, those who mourn, those who are meek being blessed?
Blessed means happy and content! But how are the poor, those who mourn, or those who are meek or those who are hungry and thirsty feel they are blessed? Paul explains that there is a secret to living content. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 Jesus shares that secret in this Beatitude.
Realize that Jesus is Not glorifying hunger or thirst. Jesus fed the 5000 people.Just as God fed the Israelites in the wilderness. God wants to care for our physical needs. But there is something more essential to human life. Jesus offers this to us. What Jesus offers us is given to us through his suffering on the cross. Look at Jesus on cross. He had been whipped and beaten until he had the skin ripped off him. He was so exposed and drained of body fluids that he was totally dehydrated, his internal organs began to shut down and in excruciating pain and he cried out how he thirsts. He took our thirst just as he took our pain and punishment. Jesus took not merely our physical thirst but our spiritual thirst.
Ask this question to yourself: Where are you looking to satisfy your deepest desires and longings? What do you turn to in order to make yourself feel better? Advantage of being empty so you can receive from God. When we realize how much we need God we can begin to thirst for God.
Ever have your car run out of gas? Tank is empty! We can find ourselves spiritually out of gas and trying to run on empty. But it doesn’t work to run our lives without God. In John chapter 4 Jesus tells the woman at the well he can give her living water. He knows she has had a life filled with disappointments with 5 failed marriages, and he sees how empty her life has become. He offers living water that will never fail her, never run out on her. Men have disappointed her and ran out on her, but Jesus never will. We are able to trust God and give up whatever earthly, physical substitute we have wrongly trusted in.
God can fill our lives! What does it mean to be filled or fulfilled? It means love, peace and joy. God fills us with real love, not a cheap substitute, real peace not a false sense of peace, real joy not a temporary high that leads to addiction and destruction. Drugs, alcohol, and sex can give us a momentary high but nothing lasting. These substitutes can lift you up for a brief time but nothing as high and everlasting like the spiritual high Jesus gives. Jesus gave up everything for us! If that’s true then we should give up everything that is a cheap substitute for him.
Psalm 63:1 says, God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you. I thirst for you; my body faints for you in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. What the world offers us will ever satisfy our deepest desires. Only Jesus offers us the real thing that fills our hearts and overflows with his amazing love and grace. In John 7:38 Jesus gives us this promise- “The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within them.”
Let go of the world’s cheap substitutes and draw from the source of living water in Jesus Christ.