Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
– Matthew 5:6
This post is the second part in a two part series looking at the idea of spiritual hunger and spiritual satisfaction. In Part One I shared some thoughts on spiritual hunger. What it looks like, ways we respond to it, and how it can never be satisfied by our own efforts. If you missed it and would like to check it out, you can find it here: Our Hunger
Now in Part Two, I would like to share some thoughts on the idea of our hunger being satisfied. But before jumping into that, let’s recap a few things so they are fresh on our minds. In Part One we discussed how we try to satisfy ourselves with self-glorifying pleasure and self glorifying praise. However those attempts never leave us truly satisfied.
We also discussed that righteousness is the true, deep longing of our souls and that we are unable to satisfy that hunger for righteousness ourselves. So again, what is righteousness?
acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin
morally right or justifiable
This is a good definition, yet it does not stop there. You have to take the next step and see that those who have righteousness have a right relationship with God. This is due to the fact that sin separates us from a holy God and places us under His judgment. So if you are free from the guilt or punishment of sin, then you have a right relationship with God.
Now if you hunger for righteousness—if you hunger to be right with God; and if you hunger to act in accord with His divine law—then how is that hunger satisfied as Matthew 5:6 says it will be?
IT IS CHRIST THAT SATISFIES
As we concluded in Part One, it is satisfied only by Christ! He satisfies our hunger for righteousness by being the only source of our righteousness. But how does He do that? That’s what I want to talk about, and I see in scripture three ways that He does it.
Christ satisfies our hunger for righteousness by giving us his righteousness, and paying the penalty for our lack of it.
As I mentioned in part one, when we hunger for something it is because we do not have it. Our stomachs rumble because they don’t have food in them. Our souls rumble because they are not right with God.
We were made to be with our creator. We were formed to find our joy through fellowship with Him. However, our sin has severed that connection with Him. We have made ourselves His enemy by rejecting Him as the only one who can satisfy us, and choosing to try and satisfy ourselves with the things of this world. (James 4:4) That is the very nature of sin, that we are dragged away from God by our own desires to reject Him and place our ourselves, our desires, our ways, over Him. (James 1:13-15)
Everyone of us has done this. We have all desired our way over God’s. We have all separated ourselves from God by our sin. This is the very reason our souls cry out in hunger and thirst. They long to be reunited with the one who can satisfy and our soul will not be satisfied by more money, more stuff, more power, more sex, more popularity, a more picture perfect family, or even more morality. It will only be satisfied by being brought back to a right relationship with its Maker.
And getting back to that right relationship with God, becoming righteous, is nothing we can do for ourselves. It is here in that moment, when you realize that your soul will only be satisfied by God and that you are incapable of getting to Him, that Christ suddenly radiates with glorious beauty!
Why does He shine so brightly in that moment? Because He is what you hunger for. He is righteous, you are not. He is sinless, you are not. He is right with God, you are not. It is because He is everything you want to become, and He has made the way for you to become those things.
To the homeless man who is dying of starvation and longing to be fed, how beautiful to him is the one who offers everything they have to feed him? (Luke 15:11-24) We are that starving beggar, and Christ offers us everything we need, and that need is to be right with God.
Jesus Christ, God Himself in human flesh, lived a life void of any sin. A righteous life. Therefore He had no penalty of death on Him (Romans 6:23), and He offers to credit that sinless and righteous life to you. He offers to give you His right relationship with God, and take away all your unrighteousness. It requires humbling yourself, admitting that you have rejected Him in choosing your way over His, leaving that behind and desiring to follow and trust Him as Lord of your life.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption — 1 Cor 1:30
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” — Mark 1:15
Your heart longs to be satisfied by its Creator, repent from your sin and trust Him!
He satisfies our hunger for righteousness by being giving us the power to taste righteousness now.
The second way Christ satisfies our hunger for righteousness, is after we have repented and trusted Him, He empowers us to taste and experience practical righteousness in our life. There is a lot that could be said on this, however I’ll try to keep it brief.
Let’s consider one of the greatest realities of a true Christian. The fact that Christ comes to dwell in his followers.
I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. — Galatians 2:20
Now let’s consider this truth’s implications. In Part One we talked about how all we desire is to be satisfied by the pursuit of self glorifying pleasure or self glorifying praise. This is all a person can do before coming into a saving relationship with God. Even what we would call “good works” are tainted by the underlying selfish motivations of fear or pride in the unbeliever. (Titus 1:15-16)
However Christ, God in flesh, lived a perfect life without sin. This means that He not only did all the right things from an outward perspective, but did them from the right motivations in the heart also. We see this mentioned in places like John 6:38 and John 17:4. Christ wanted to accomplish the will of the Father, and that will is that God be glorified.
If this same Christ now lives in us, and the life we live is no longer ours but Him living in us, then what is to be expected? God will be glorified in us, because Christ will live for God’s will and God’s glory within us! So how does that take place? Our eyes are opened to see that our self glorifying pursuits do not satisfy, only God does. Christ in us empowers us to desire God more than our sin, which glorifies God!
So practically, how does that enable us to be satisfied by tastes of righteousness now?
In Part One I used the example of a lie, let’s look at it here too. Look at these two responses to avoiding telling a lie.
“I chose not to lie because I am satisfied by God and I love Him! I want to stay close to Him and I know a lie will be disobeying Him and will hurt my relationship with Him.” With this response, God is made to look beautiful and satisfying as you choose to act in righteousness by telling the truth. His beauty and glory is made great as your enjoyment of Him is made the motivation for your obedience.
“I don’t want to lie because I know I would get in trouble if I was caught. Besides, I am not the kind of person who lies.” With this, you are made to look beautiful, and you sinfully rob God of His glory, and you live bound by pride and fear.
One glorifies you and displays your slavery, and one glorifies God and displays your freedom. One is a righteous choice, one is sinful. When Christ dwells in you, He gives you the power to desire God’s glory over yours, because He makes God more satisfying to you than yourself!
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.—1 John 3:9
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.—Romans 6:6-7
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.—Romans 6:12-18
After salvation, it is Christ in you that frees you from the slavery of continually being unsatisfied by unrighteousness and allows you to finally taste the sweet beauty of true righteousness in your life! We still fight and struggle with sin, but the believer is now equipped by the Holy Spirit to fight their sin by desiring what is more satisfying. And we find what is more satisfying by God’s promises in His word.
He satisfies our hunger for righteousness by providing the means to one day be perfectly righteous.
The last way Christ satisfies our hunger for righteousness should leave your soul’s mouth watering for it! He will one day lay out a never ending feast of righteousness for your heart to dine on forever. And that feast will be His glory!
Christ has promised that He will return, and when He does, those who have repented of their sinful attempts to satisfy themselves, and have accepted Him as the all-satisfying desire of their soul, will be made perfectly righteous with Him!
All will be resurrected, with a physical body, and those who continually rejected God as the only one who can satisfy them, will be resurrected to suffer under His judgement. However those who repented and long to be with Him will be glorified and will never struggle with sin again. For the follower of Christ, our sinful hearts will be made new and right, and we will see God’s glory completely unveiled. Christ will be radiating with such beauty that we will long for nothing more than Him! No longer will we be lured away by our sinful desires. No more will self-glorifying praise or self-glorifying pleasure take the place of God in our lives, because we will be glorified and we will see Him in His full glory! (Rev 22:3-4)
The curse will be gone, there will be no more death, no more sickness, no more pain. All of these things are the result of sin (Romans 6:23) and if God (who cannot lie Titus 1:2) has promised that they will be done away with (Revelation 21:4), then we can conclude that in heaven we will be incapable of sin! What a glorious rest from the fight those who trust Him endure every day! (Romans 8:13)
We will be glorified and enjoy the righteousness of Christ forever, as we live in perfect righteousness, in a right relationship with a God of infinite glory who satisfies us forever!
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.—1 John 3:2
…those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.—Romans 8:30
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. –2 Corinthians 5:6-9
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things – Ps 107:9
If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.—Philippians 1:22-26
I hope that you, in the depths of your heart and being, long desperately for Christ’s return. To look in the face of the only one who can fulfill the deepest desires of your soul, and be satisfied by Him forever. Come quickly Lord Jesus!
I hope that you have enjoyed journeying with me in my thoughts on this. If you have any comments on how you find God satisfying your heart, or questions about anything I’ve shared, I’d love to hear them!