Beatitudes: the Right Kind of Hunger

For two days I found myself with other Air Force Officer Candidates in the field at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, equipped with a poncho, some rope, a canteen, and two Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). This was our introduction to survival training, giving us a brief taste of a school that was necessary for pilots and a few other career paths. We were the second group of candidates in that area and both groups were large, meaning anything of sustenance had already been picked clean. Two MREs don’t go very far. We were all hungry. But we knew it was only two days. At the end of it, we would be able to eat voraciously. 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 5:6, ESV

During those two days, we looked forward to our next physical meal. We knew it was going to be abundant. Have you ever been hungry like that? You hadn’t eaten in a day or two or had only eaten a small amount? Do you remember the satisfaction of that next big meal? Can you still recall how that full stomach felt?

Jesus described that state, only instead of physical hunger, he referred to spiritual hunger. Blessed are those who seek after righteousness. However, we’re not talking about a casual seeking. This isn’t a “when we feel like it” type of search. Jesus is describing someone who has that empty and growling belly, who wants righteousness for fulfillment and sustenance. To this person, Jesus promises satisfaction. 

There aren’t a lot of steps here. There isn’t a specific offering or a ritualistic set of words. There isn’t even a defined place or time. Jesus said those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. That’s the requirement. That’s the only requirement. If that describes you, Jesus promises that you will be satisfied. 

Put in context, this is a continuation of the other states and promises. Do you look at your spiritual state and are you sorrowful over it? Does it cause you to mourn, to cry out, “Woe is me?” Are you choosing gentleness and trust, not fretting over how folks committing evil are getting ahead, but earnestly desiring righteousness in your own life? If so, Jesus says you will be satisfied, that your hunger and thirst for righteousness will be met. Do you hunger? Do you thirst? If not, ask God to change you, to see yourself as you are to Him, to break you, so that you may meet these conditions and be blessed with the promises He has laid out. Choose to be blessed. 

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