“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6.
The word “blessed” is tossed around on a regular basis. Often the word “blessed” is associated with earthly prosperity and happiness. But what does it biblically mean to be blessed?
Many think that if they had abundant wealth, an absence of regret and suffering, excellent health, good employment, unending gratification of their desires, and kind treatment of everyone, this would mean they are blessed. But in the Beatitudes, Jesus turns this kind of thinking upside down. In this passage (Matthew 5:3-12), Jesus sets forth characteristics of the ideal person of His kingdom: being poor, mourning, humility, hunger, thirst, rejection, and persecution, all qualities that were present in the life and character of the Man who spoke them. Through these experiences, Jesus says that the disciple would be blessed. To be blessed means that we receive God’s favor. We receive His endorsement and approval.
In verse 6, Jesus speaks these words, “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” Hunger and thirst represent the deepest desires we have. What is your deepest desire? What do you hunger and thirst for? Is it control? Maybe it’s comfort? But here’s the thing, none of these things bring blessings to our lives. We are blessed when we hunger and thirst for righteousness.
But have we ever had a hunger and a thirst for God? The answer is yes when we face a health crisis when nothing else mattered but experiencing His peace. There are other times that I’ve clearly needed the Lord in huge ways and hungered for His presence. But how often have I really hungered and really thirsted for righteousness?
The hunger and thirst described by Jesus in this beatitude are not some kind of hunger that could be satisfied with a mid-morning snack or a cup of coffee. This is the hunger and thirst of one who is desperate, one who will risk everything to be satisfied. How much do you hunger after God? Do you want it as much as a starving man wants food and as much as a man dying of thirst wants water?” In the 63rd Psalm, David expressed his desire for God: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
When we’re thirsty, we crave water. Our daily need for water acts as our reminder to drink deeply of Jesus every day. He doesn’t have what we need. He is what we need. Knowing this, we can also rejoice in the fact that Jesus doesn’t just give us a drink to satisfy us at the moment, but He gives us an eternal fountain of living water. We will never run out of His grace, His love, and His freedom.
- Have you felt distant from God because of something you did (sin, busyness, etc.)? How did it impact your relationship with God?
- What can we do this week to thirst after God?