Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Happiness from Spiritual Hunger and Thirst

Chuckle: A child prayed, "Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up." Joyce
Quote: “It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.” --George Eliot
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6 NIV).
Have you ever been terribly hungry or thirsty? I mean, really hungry or thirsty -- the kind of hunger that makes your stomach scream and growl, or the kind of thirst that makes your mouth feel like a piece of sandpaper and a ball of cotton combined. If you have, one thing is certain, your hunger or thirst was the only thing on your mind and everything else became secondary until this urgent need was satisfied. You were totally focused on finding food or water.
I once read a story about a mother and little daughter who were trapped under a pile of rubble for days following an earthquake. As the hours and days wore on, the child began to cry and scream because she was so thirsty. Imagine the anxiety and stress on the mother because she had nothing to give her child. Then she remembered, she had her blood to offer the child. So, she pricked her finger and gave it to the baby to suck. After a while, the baby cried "more mommy, please mommy, cut another finger." To make a long story short, the life-giving blood of the mother kept her child alive until they were rescued.
As you read this story, did any other "blood" come to mind? The eternal life-giving blood of our Savior that has given us life without end. This same Savior said we would be blessed and happy if we hunger and thirst after the righteousness he so generously wants to give us. We have no righteousness of our own -- only that which is given to us by our Lord Himself. He will fill us with his righteousness if we sincerely seek it. "There is none righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10 NIV). "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe" (Romans 3:22 NIV).
We know that the things of this world will never provide permanent satisfaction, and if we depend on the satisfaction of our physical appetites, we will never be fulfilled nor find true happiness. That's why Jesus said: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (food, water, clothing, etc.) will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
Righteousness is not merely the absence of sin. When we accept Christ as Savior, we are spiritual infants in Christ -- saved but not mature. We grow, spiritually, by hungering and thirsting for righteousness and allowing God to fill us with His goodness and holiness. We allow his Holy Spirit to fill us and make us more and more like Christ each day. The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5 KJV: "Let this mind (attitude) be in you that is also in Christ Jesus." To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to yearn to be like Jesus.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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