Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness (Part 1)
"... for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6
“...for they shall be satisfied.” Every part of God’s creation seeks satisfaction in some way, usually according
to its true need. Of all God’s creatures, humans have the greatest propensity to seek what they do not need where they cannot find it. In fact, the world longs and strives for happiness but doesn’t grasp it, for happiness is never found when it (a feeling of happiness) is the main objective.
Only God offers the goal that produces true and lasting joy: “Blessed (spiritually prosperous with an inner happiness independent of outward circumstances) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (right standing with God), for they shall be satisfied.”
This verse, the fourth promise in this series, introduces a significant change. The first three dealt with the problem of self — the need for emptiness before God can fill. Now we begin to look at the solution. Awareness of our bondage to sin and self produces mourning and leads to hunger and thirst for righteousness. This godly craving, in turn, leads to fulfillment as God imparts His righteousness to those who seek Him. Hear His call to the people He loves:
"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread
and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good,
and delight yourself in abundance...”
My Lord, I long for your purity and goodness. In myself, I fall so far short of the pure, unselfish life of love which you have shown me. I cannot be and do what my heart desires. I am totally incapable of pleasing you on my own. Now I come to you in my need, for you have promised to be in me the righteousness for which I hunger and thirst. Thank you, my Lord and King, for your wonderful gift of a new and holy Life.
FIRST DAY: Read Matthew 5:6. Since we so easily hunger and thirst for that which brings only momentary relief, we need to look at what brings eternal satisfaction.
1. Define or explain “righteousness”.
2. How do the following Scriptures demonstrate hunger and thirst for righteousness? (Notice the blessing for those who “mourn” sin: they are the ones who “hunger and thirst” and therefore “will be satisfied”. They are becoming “the pure in heart”.)
3. What action is prompted by such hunger and thirst?
SECOND DAY: Although God satisfies our hunger and thirst, His fulfillment stimulates greater desire for ever more of Christ’s righteousness and presence. Thus hunger and thirst co-exist with the wonderful satisfaction that can only be found in Jesus.
1. Read John 6:32-34 and 48-58. What is the “bread” that God offers those who are hungry?
2. Read John 7:37-39. What does Jesus continually offer you?
3. Read John 4:14. What does Jesus promise those who drink from the water He offers?
4. 1 Corinthians. 1:30 tells us that Christ Jesus “became to us wisdom from God and _________ and _____________ and ______________." Why is this significant to you today?
5. (Challenge question) Read 2 Corinthians 3:18. Which word here implies an action comparable to “eating” and “drinking” of Jesus’ life? What is the result of this action?
THIRD DAY: God’s Word offers vivid illustrations of hearts that hunger and thirst for His righteousness, as well as
hopeful promises of deep fulfillment.
1. Read Philippians 3:7-10. How did Paul express his hunger, thirst and appreciation for his righteousness in Christ (which was inseparable from fellowship and union with his beloved Lord). Do you agree?
2. Righteousness and fellowship with God go together. Only the righteous can enter into and enjoy His presence, and only as we live in His presence can His righteousness reign in us. In the following passages, where do you
see David’s hunger and thirst for Cod and His righteousness? What action on his part brings satisfaction?
Ps. 143:11 (Here you see the action on David’s part but not the expression of satisfaction. Sometimes we
must, in faith, wait for relief, which will come in God's perfect time and way. Notice David’s joy in the opening verses of the next few psalms.)
3. (Personal) Can you identify with any of the above? Explain.
FOURTH DAY: Even if you have believed in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross and are identified with His death and resurrection life (Romans 6:4-5), you may face a multitude of obstacles that hinder the righteous life of Jesus from flowing through you.
1. According to Isaiah 55:1-3 (quoted in the introduction), what can keep either the believer or unbeliever from being satisfied on “food” that truly fulfills?
2. What action brings satisfaction?
3. What does Isaiah emphasize concerning the cost of God’s
“food and drink”? Why is this so important?
4. Describe the “blessing” God promises those who respond to His invitation.
5. (Personal) What do you hear Him say to you in this passage?
FIFTH DAY: How does Matthew 6:33 affirm and summarize the message of this lesson? Write Him your response.
Just as I am without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou biddest me come to Thee,
0 Lamb of God, I come! I come!
The Secret of Abundant Life: Lesson 6
Home | Index| Armor of God | Persecution | Victory | Heaven