This past week I had a craving for something that I would not normally even consider eating unless I was seated at a baseball game. You guessed it, a hotdog. What made this an unusual craving is that I do not really like them. I am not quite sure what made me want one bad enough to run to the store to buy some. However, I did. Immediately after returning from the grocery store, I fired up the grill, cooked two of the dogs, placed them on a couple of buns, dowsed them with my favorite condiments, and moments later, just like that, I was completely satisfied. The craving was gone!
The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus making this statement, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).
I could not help but think about my recent craving after reading this verse. When I hear of someone who hungers and thirsts, it indicates to me that they have an unmet desire, or they still would not be hungry and thirsty for it. My recent unmet desire was a hot dog, but Jesus is speaking about righteousness.
If we are to understand the meaning of the word translated righteousness here, it probably is in reference to having a hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness, or a right-standing with God.
So, where do we begin to find righteousness?
In so many of the Apostle Paul’s letters, he speaks about righteousness and how to obtain it. I think my favorite is found in his letter to the Philippians. In Philippians 3:8–9, we read, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”
According to Paul, right standing with God can only come from God Himself and is dependent on faith in Christ. That is why when we look for righteousness in any other place, we remain unsatisfied.
Blessedness is promised for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness as well as the assurance of being satisfied. When I craved a hot dog, I knew where to go. I went to the grocery store and was satisfied.
Again, Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
So, this is the question then, “Do we have a craving for righteousness?” If so, there is only one place we will find satisfaction. It is in Jesus.