“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.”
A transformation occurs when we accept Christ. Where before we accepted pretty much anything set before us and we lived like we pleased, when we are in Christ we start to see the world a bit differently – we see things through God’s eyes. We see with eyes of faith, yes, but we also see with eyes of righteousness. We start looking at the world through the lens of God’s Word, and we see that the world does not come anywhere close to measuring up. And when we look in the mirror, we also see who we have been and how much of that same worldly unrighteousness still lingers in us.
At that point, as we gaze at ourselves and the world through new eyes, we find ourselves craving not only God’s forgiveness but also God’s own righteousness. We realize that the life we have been living is not only wrong but also unsatisfying, and we want to be satisfied. We crave the fulfillment that comes from living as Christ lived, a life of humility and service to God, a life full of Spirit-led power, a life glorifying to God. We want to measure up to God’s standards, and so we seek His righteousness however we can find it.
At this point, I must point out that God’s righteousness is not the same as human “justice” or “equity.” While humanity’s sense of morality leads us to believe all people should be treated equally regardless of what they do, God’s righteousness demands purity and integrity and adherence to God’s moral standard as outlined in the Bible, His Holy Word. And while political correctness and human equity may give us a fleeting sense of doing the right thing, God’s righteousness fulfills the longing in our souls for complete justice – and it also brings us eternal life.
God’s righteousness is not the same as His justice – for if we were to be judged by Him, we would all be condemned, for we are all sinners. (Psalm 14:3, Romans 5:8) God’s righteousness is an absolute measure of moral purity, selfless love, and also merciful forgiveness.
When we have died to ourselves and seek God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, we will find ourselves empty of all we have been and longing to be filled with His life, His love, and His way. And when we so hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness, in His loving grace He will give it to us, that we may live lives full of His Holy Spirit and guided by His Word.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b) Contrary to some current teachings, an abundant life is not a prosperous mortal life but a righteous eternal life. When we are hungry, we are to eat the bread of God’s Word (Deuteronomy 8:3), and when thirsty we are to drink the water of Life that is found in Christ Jesus, our Lord. (John 4:13-14) Therefore, let us eat and drink together today, and fill ourselves with the righteousness that God has so graciously provided for us.
Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord, we thank You and praise You for Your mercy and grace. In Your righteousness, You could judge us and find us sorely lacking, and yet in Your perfect love, You forgive our sins. Teach us Your ways, Lord God, and fill us with Your righteousness every day. Amen.