Extreme hunger or thirst doesn’t feel nice. It’s unpleasant, even painful. Consequently, we tend to avoid these sensations whenever possible. If your stomach starts to grumble, you grab a little snack.

Yet, God gave us these signals for a reason. Hunger tells us that our body needs fuel and nutrients to keep it functioning properly. Thirst alerts us to our body’s need for hydration.

The soul sends signals, too. People who hunger for righteousness recognize that on their own, they can never be good enough. People who thirst for what is right and true pursue the author of truth.

When we first come to know Jesus, we love worshiping Him with His people and reading His love letter to us. It fills up our aching, empty souls. Then, as times goes on, feelings fade. Obedience feels like too much work. We rationalize our loss of zeal. A little religion can camouflage our deep need for God.

Yet, an honest look at my heart reveals the selfishness that still lurks there. That reality spurs me to thirst for righteousness and to hunger for the day when I’ll be completely free from sin.

It’s good to feel hungry for God, to long for righteousness, because the yearning moves us to pursue an intimate relationship with Him. Only those who truly desire Jesus find satisfaction in Him.

Jesus rewards thirst. He promises living water. “To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment” (Revelation 21:6).

Dear Jesus, make me hungry and thirsty — not for power or prestige or possessions — but for righteousness. Help me to hold firmly to the truth that you are the only one who can satisfy. Amen.

Go Deeper — Today, turn every twinge of hunger or thirst into a prayer for God to give you a deep hunger and thirst for Him.

Tags: Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5
Photo Credit: Taneli Lahtinen