God gives His righteousness to those who know they cannot live without it.
“Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed,
for they will be filled.”
– Matthew 5:6
Hunger and thirst are the body’s way of telling us that we are “empty.” Our natural response to physical hunger and thirst is to seek food and water to satisfy our need. Each Christian has an inner longing that only Christ’s righteousness can satisfy. But we cannot be filled with righteousness if we are filled with self.
Throughout the Scriptures God emphasizes that the one who longs for Him with all his heart will find Him (Jer. 29:13). As we crave righteousness, we will repent of our sin, and God will remove it from us. Our selfishness will be replaced by the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22–23). The Spirit will make us to be like Christ.
Righteousness is not to be taken lightly, nor is it easily attained. Holy God does not give His righteousness to people indiscriminately. He gives it to those who know they cannot live without it. Our desire for personal righteousness must be powerful, all-consuming, dominating everything we do. Pursuing righteousness means that we value the opinion of God far more than we treasure the opinions of people.
Righteousness is not merely an absence of sin. It is allowing God to fill us with His holiness (Rom. 6:11). It is being like Christ. Jesus is our model of One who sought God’s righteousness first, and then the Father glorified Him. We are not only to seek the kingdom of God, but we are also to pursue His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). If we will hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be satisfied!
Excerpt republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.
My hope is built on nothing less but Jesus christ and righteousness. Though the righteousness of man is like a filthy rag before God,His mercies endureth for ever.