About 9 million people worldwide die of hunger and hunger related diseases every year. This includes a little over 3 million children. In America, outright starvaton is so rare it’s hard to document it happening at all. That’s not to say that no one is hungry in America because a 2018 study found that 1 in 10 households were food insecure. This means that millions of Americans are consistently unable to access or afford adequate food. What about thirst? One in three people living on planet Earth does not have access to safe drinking water. Mother Teresa once said, “People in India are physically hungry. People in America are spiritually hungry. That makes the people in India better off because Americans don’t realize why they are starving.” Whether they live in the United States, France or Peru, people the world over are looking for something that will quench the hunger and thirst in their hearts for satisfaction and contentment. Why is this? Well, God says the reason we suffer from dissastisfaction in life is because we are looking for it in all the wrong places. We are tempted just like everyone else to think that our satisfaction and contentment can be found in the stuff of life. We should take to heart this advice from C. S. Lewis, “Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”
Psalm 42:1-2; Matthew 5:6, 6:31-33; John 14:15; James 4:17
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
In Matthew 5:6, Jesus is talking about longing that radically changes our perspective. Our longing for righteousness is to be as a starving person who is dying for a morsel of food or a sip of water. This isn’t a casual desire such as a stomach growl between breakfast and lunch. This hunger and thirst is the kind that comes from desperation. And that “something” that we are to be desperate for is His righteousness. There are a couple of meanings for the word Jesus used that is translated righteousness. In its simplest sense, righteousness is absolute obedience. We are to hunger and thirst for our lives to be in line with God’s design and purpose for us. The word also emphasizes having a right relationship. We are to intensely long for a right relationship with God. He has made it possible for us to have a relationship with Him even though we do not deserve one. This new relationship is possible because of what Jesus did on the cross to sacrifice Himself for our sins.
When was the last time you thought you were going to die of starvation? What is your favorite way to satisfy your thirst? What are some things people use to try and satisfy the hunger and thirst of their spiritual hearts? What did C.S. Lewis mean when he said, “Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”? How would you compare your walk with Christ today as it was a year ago? What would you say to a friend from your church who told you they don’t hunger and thirst for righteousness?
If you are a Christ follower but your heart has grown cold lately and you don’t hunger and thirst for righteousness the way you once did, then pray for God to give you the desire to desire Him more than anything the world would offer you. Through obedience to God and His Word, pray that you would long for a renewed relationship with Jesus Christ as never before.
Dear Heavenly Father, I want to hunger and thirst for you and not the things of the world that tempt me to turn my affection to them. Please forgive me when my desire for a growing relationship with your Son Jesus has been sidetracked. I pray that you stir in my spirit a holy hunger and thirst for you and that I would seek your filling and satisfaction nowhere else but in Jesus. Amen.