February 25, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”—Matthew 5:6 (NASB)
When was the last time you got a massive craving? I’m talking about an intense, distracting, unable-to-focus-on-anything craving until you get what your heart—and stomach—is hankering for? I get these types of cravings when I go too long without eating pizza, burgers, or steak. And when I get what I like to call pizza madness, I will find myself either ordering Little Caesar’s or going to a place like Cici’s and throwing down colossal piles of pepperoni covering goodness. Then, I’m satisfied . . . at least for a few days.
Now, do me a favor and keep that image in your head as we jump into today’s Beatitude: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…”
What is Jesus telling us here? Well, He’s painting a picture we can all understand, because we all know what it’s like to hunger and thirst, right? But more than that, we all know what it’s like to hunger and thirst for something specific, to have a craving that simply has to be satisfied.
The Greek words used in this verse demonstrate this concept clearly: hunger (peinōntes) means “to desire earnestly; to crave ardently, to seek with eager desire,” while thirst (dipsōntes) means “to suffer from thirst for; to painfully feel want of, and eagerly long for.” I bolded specific words like ardently, painfully, and suffer because they convey the depth of Jesus’ statement.
As I mentioned above, every one of us has experienced cravings like this. We’ve all intensely and painfully longed for things—and no, I’m not talking about food. We often hunger for selfish things (for our desires and wants to be fulfilled), and we thirst for our lusts and sinful vices to be quenched. We crave health, wealth, power, and praise. We earnestly and ardently seek to be filled by relationships, material possessions, position and status, fame and influence, and/or admiration and accolades. But whether we want to admit it or not, not a single one of these things can truly satisfy. Why? Because these things aren’t meant to satisfy us.
The only thing in existence that truly satisfies is Jesus. If there’s only one thing you gain from this devotional, I pray you walk away knowing that Jesus is everything! Nothing in this life is greater or more satisfying than knowing and living in relationship with Jesus, and everything in life is greater and more satisfying in light of a relationship with Jesus. And through a relationship with Jesus, we learn and are compelled to think, speak, and live like Jesus, to seek after what Jesus desires for us (what He says is good and right), and to do what He calls us to do with our lives.
And so, when we boil down His statement to its bare minimum, we see that satisfaction and fullness only come when we eagerly, earnestly, and ardently crave Him and His heart. And the amazing thing about this all is that He promises we will always get our fill!
So, today I ask you: What’s your spirit craving? What are you hungry for? What do you believe is quenching the thirst of your soul? If it’s the Lord and a life that honors Him, then you’ll know true satisfaction and be filled every single day! If it’s anything else, sadly my friend, you’ll find yourself empty.
Pause: What is true righteousness? What does it mean to hunger and thirst for it?
Practice: Read Philippians 3:1–14.
Pray: Father, help me to hunger above all else for Your Son. Help me to forsake the selfish, empty, and destructive cravings my sinful nature draws me toward and instead to crave knowing and enjoying You and being drawn to the things that honor and glorify You. Search my heart and reveal any and all sinful cravings and, by Your Spirit, give me the power to reject these things and instead be filled in relationship with You. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.