Jesus told His listeners “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” -Matthew 5.6
First what may seem like bad news: does it not follow that perhaps when we do not hunger and thirst for the righteousness (justice is another meaning of the Greek word here) we will not be filled (also rightly translated “satisfied”)?
The first point many theologians, Bible scholars, pastors and teachers will make- and I fully agree- is that true righteousness and justice are only sourced in God, in Jesus Christ, given by the Holy Spirit by grace and not works. In simple terms it is Jesus Himself who makes us righteous, not any of our own actions. it is imputed, a gift given us by God in His grace.
Further, righteous, just thoughts, words, deeds, relationships between people ONLY ultimately happen due to God’s grace, presence, help and workings in, then through us. Paul writes “for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” -NRSV
The good tree that bears good fruit must be planted in good soil or it simply cannot bear the sweet stuff!
It isn’t in ourselves we are either righteous or just but for the Source of both working in us and in the world and indeed, the world to come where righteousness and justice prevail. No sin, no temptation, no devil and demons, no unrighteous thoughts, words, actions happen or ever shall in the literal presence of God where His people will eventually be. But there is not here and then is not now!
So we may realize that satisfaction, personal fulfillment is a dream until and unless we connect and respond in humility and with genuine focus toward God and doing things HIS way. Ahhhh yes, easier said than done because we are so very used to being our own self-righteous, personal desire fulfillers… God have mercy on us, a change IS gonna come but it must include and involve our own hungering and thirsting after Him, HIS will, HIS desires and this is where study and application of HIS Word, prayer, confession of sin, accountability and a deep sense of witness to reflect Jesus toward others comes in like a flood of life!
As Augustine so astutely wrote in his “Confessions” “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
Until we hunger and thirst for Him and His righteousness and justice, I submit to you we cannot and shall not be filled nor satisfied. God is always moving- it’s our move to respond to Him or not.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn