Monday, May 17, 2010

Happiness of Hunger

I’ve never experienced real starvation. Oh, I’ve been hungry at times. When I was in the Air Force I had to go through S.E.R.E. (Survival Evasion Resistance & Escape) training. For part of this training we had to survive out in the Colorado mountain wilderness for over a week with just a package of K-rations. I don’t know what those survival rations are like today, maybe they’ve improved them in the last 25 years. But the ones we had were left-overs from the Vietnam era. They consisted of two cereal bars and one packet each of instant coffee, salt, and sugar. If you combine cardboard with paste and set it out ‘til it dries hard as a rock, you might come close to the taste and consistency of a K-Rat bar. Early in the week I remember taking a bite of the cereal bar and choking it down with as much water as I had in my canteen. I put the rest back in my pack. But after a few days of little to nothing to eat, even a K-rat bar helps to satisfy that hunger.

Today’s beatitude from the lips of Jesus in Matthew 5:6 is, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Jesus promises blessing to those who hunger and thirst after "righteousness." "Righteousness" means to be in a right relationship with God.

Over and over again God promises to fill and satisfy those who are hungry and thirsty for Him:

1. Psalm 107:9 says, "For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness."

2. Psalm 34:10 says, "The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing."

3. Psalm 23:1 says, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."

4. Jeremiah 31:14 says, "And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD."

5. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4:14, "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

6. He said to the crowds, who had eaten when He fed the 5,000, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst" (John 6:35).

There is perhaps no greater secret of progress in Christian living than a healthy, hearty, spiritual appetite. How good is my spiritual appetite? What do I crave in my spiritual life? God satisfies only those who are hungry and thirsty for Him.

On a scale from 1 to 10 how hungry am I for spiritual things? What is my attitude toward personal righteousness?  What do I hunger for in life?  To what extent do I hunger for God's Word?  How is my appetite for the truth of the Bible?  How is my appetite for fellowship with other believers?   What is my attitude toward worship?  What is my attitude toward deep spiritual truths?  In what ways am I growing in my love for holiness?  Do I long to be with mature Spirit-filled Christians?  Would I rather be with carnal, immature people?  How hungry am I for the works of the flesh?  Do I sincerely pray "Lord, keep me from temptation and being overcome by sin?" Do I long to have God pronounce the verdict "righteous" as His decision over me in the judgment?

What if we don't have this hunger and thirst--this overwhelming, intense, all-consuming, painful hunger and thirst? It could mean that we are spiritually dead. Why? Dead people don't hunger. Or it could mean we are sick, because sick people often don't hunger either. Let me assure you, hungering and thirsting is a sign of life and health. We must examine ourselves to see whether we are truly hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

Are You Hungry? Skip the K-rat’s of the world. Find true satisfaction in Jesus.

4 comments:

  1. Is your blog gonna be reviewed during 31DBBB? Where is the five star button? Excellent post.

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  2. Great post Richard. Talking about hungering and thirsting for righteousness is something I needed to read. Thanks.

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  3. Erica, Paul said he might put my blog on for review tomorrow, if I got back to him in time. I have been doing yard work all day--away from the 'puter. --Richard

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  4. Becky, When we hunger for God, He will make every day like "Thanksgiving Day!" We can rest in Him, stuffed with the righteousness of God! --Richard

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