In Matthew 5:6, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Jesus points to a physical longing for food and draws a parallel to a spiritual longing. This spiritual longing is not for food, but for righteousness.
What is righteousness?
Righteousness is doing what is “right” versus doing what is “not right.” The source of what is “right” and what is “not right” is God. Isaiah 45:18-19 says, “For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.”
The single source of all morality is God. He “declares what is right.” Why does God have this privilege, because he “created the heavens” and “fashioned and made the earth” and “he founded it.” This is basic playground logic. If you come up with a game, you have the right to make up the rules.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:6 that the one who hungers and thirsts for doing what is right is blessed. The Greek word for “blessed” is makarioi. This word means being happy due to receiving grace. “[Happy] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Many people do not hunger and thirst for righteousness, instead they hunger and thirst for sin. This sin can take on different forms such as self-indulgence, sensuality, arrogance, etc. Hungers for these things will never end in satisfaction, only hunger for God’s will produces satisfaction.
The person who best exemplified this was Jesus who in John 4:34 said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” The hunger pains for Jesus were not for the dust of this world, it was for the will of his Father. Jesus understood that the purpose of life was not to live for yourself, but it was to live for God. This is the path that leads to satisfaction and this is the path that leads to true happiness.
So today, ask yourself, why am I not happy? Why am I never satisfied? Why do I struggle to get through each week? The answer to these questions are the same for all men, it is because you are hungering for something that will never satisfy. If you truly want to find fulfillment, you will only find it in Jesus Christ. Only by believing in Him and submitting to his Lordship over your life will you find rest for your soul and eternal happiness for your heart.