Jesus begins his most famous teaching, The Sermon on the Mount, with the Beatitudes, meaning blessing. So over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing seven stories of God’s blessing in our lives.
“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.”
Matthew 5:6 (NLT)
“Hungry.” We use this word in a “spiritual sense” fairly often in faith circles. We’re “hungry” for God’s presence, “hungry” for more of Him, “hungry” for His touch. But are we hungry for justice? Have we developed an appetite for righteousness?
Justice and righteousness are often coupled in Scripture. Many translations use the word righteousness in place of justice in this passage. In Amos 5 God is schooling His people, declaring He’s not particularly impressed by their religiosity. He goes on to make it clear what would please Him. “I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” These two, in combination, woven together and inseparable, make an impression on Him. The lack of these pursuits in our lives exposes an empty facade-like faith.
“Hunger” carries a strength of desire with it. We’re not called to a casual desire for righteousness and justice. We’re not called to a peck-ish pursuit of these things. Instead, we’re called to a driving sense of bodily need for them. We’re called to crave them, unfilled without them. Yet here’s the rub—the world is a broken, pain-filled mess of a place, burdened by a powerful lack of both righteousness and justice. Giving our energies in pursuit of these things can quickly lead to exhaustion, depletion and burn out. The needs are limitless while our stamina falters, chronically limited. The demands regularly dismiss humanitarians, activists, missionaries and volunteers who would love to remain in the fight were it not for the utter exhaustion. But our aching hunger will be relieved. The blessing of contentment is promised.
Jesus, we choose to stay in the fight you’ve called us to.
Thank you for the filling and contentment to come.
We look forward to that day as we press on.