Jesus said he who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be filled (Matthew 5:6). How can this promise be fulfilled in you?
What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? If you hunger for food you sense a need for it and have a strong desire, a craving for it. Similarly if you thirst you sense a need for drink and have a strong desire for it. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness is a metaphor for longing for it, strongly desiring it, craving it (Psalm 119:20; 40).
What is righteousness?
It starts with believing in God (Genesis 15:6; Psalm 36:5-10). If you trust in God, believe in him, then implied is a willingness to do what God says (Hebrews 11:8).
Righteousness includes obeying God’s commandments (Deuteronomy 6:25; Psalm 119:172; Isaiah 48:18; Luke 1:5-6).
Righteousness encompasses mercy (Matthew 1:19 [“just,” translated from the Greek word δίκαιος (dikaios), just, righteous]; Luke 10:25-37; Proverbs 21:21; Micah 6:8).
Righteousness includes everything encompassed by God’s will (Matthew 3:15; Psalm 119:137-144).
So how can we be filled with righteousness?
1) Hunger and thirst for it.
Hungering and thirsting for righteousness implies that you sense the need for righteousness, meaning you have a void, a need to be filled. One who is self-righteous doesn’t sense a need, so he doesn’t hunger and thirst for righteousness.
We can be filled with righteousness only when we realize it’s not something we already have, but it’s something we need, and its source is not within ourselves, but it comes from God (Isaiah 55:1, 3, 6-11; Romans 7:18; 8:7; Isaiah 64:5-6; Luke 18:9-14; Ezekiel 33:13; Jeremiah 23:6).
2) Be purified from uncleanness.
To be righteous we must be cleansed from unrighteousness, which is sin (1 John 3:4; Psalm 24:3-6).
To be cleansed of sin requires repentance and justification (Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:7-10; Romans 3:22-26; 5:17).
3) Abide in Christ.
To have the righteousness of Christ we must partake of him (John 6:48, 57, 63; 1 John 3:6-7). Feed on his word (John 15:7). Seek and put on Christ (Isaiah 51:1; Hosea 10:12; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 1:11; 3:9-14). Yield to God (Romans 6:13). Let Christ live in you through his Spirit (Romans 8:4, 10).
4) Endure the testing of your faith.
The righteousness we have of God is of faith, and God tests our faith (Psalm 139:23-24; Jeremiah 17:9-10; 1 Peter 1:5-9).
God promises that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness we will be filled. Let’s make sure we do hunger and thirst for his righteousness, and yield to God, so his promise can be fulfilled in us.
This article is also available in pdf format
Unless otherwise noted Scripture taken from the New King James VersionTM
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Messenger Church of God
PO Box 619
Wentzville, MO 63385