The Outward Beatitudes: We Hunger For God

We were created to hunger and thirst. We were created to have a longing that desires to be satisfied. We are not self-fulfilled people. Our bodies need food and water to live. We need relationships to emotionally thrive. But most importantly, we were created with a soul that needs God. Our ultimate hunger is a spiritual longing to be filled by the very One who created us.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God has put eternity in man’s heart. God has placed in man a longing for something that is beyond this world. Blaise Pascal said in his now-famous quote, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.”

We were created to hunger. And that hunger is to be satisfied in God and God alone.

But the problem is while eternity is in our hearts, our hearts are also wicked because of our sin. Therefore, we have a natural tendency to turn away from the very One who can satisfy us and look for other ways to fill our hunger. Romans 1:21 says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” And verse 25 continues, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

This is why humanity is in a constant quest to be satisfied and yet is never satisfied because humanity is trying to find o on trying to find fulfillment outside of God. Solomon tried to explore fulfillment in every aspect of our human existence and came to the conclusion that everything was meaningless. Nothing brought lasting joy to him. He still was left hungry and thirsty for something to ultimately satisfy him.

In the fourth beatitude from Matthew 5, Jesus speaks about this hunger. He says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Jesus recognizes that we all hunger and thirst. The blessing comes when we hunger and thirst for the right thing.

The righteousness that Jesus speaks of is desiring to live a life that reflects the holy character of God. It is one who desires to be right before God in their thoughts and actions. It is a desire to know God and walk in obedience before God. Our joy comes when we walk in the truth of God and experience the blessings of that obedience. Psalm 119:1 says, “blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.” And Psalm 119:37 says, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”

The things of this world will never satisfy, it is God and God alone that preserves our life and fills our longing and desires. And it is through salvation in Christ, that our life is eternally preserved through Him paying the penalty for our sins and defeating death. Jesus uses this theme of hunger and thirst in John 6:35 and says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

So what does this have to with outward call of the Gospel as we are looking at the outward beatitudes?

If we recognize that we are people who were created to hunger for God and we have experienced both the hunger and the satisfaction with life in Christ then we also know that there are others who are still hungry and unsatisfied. When we seek to know the righteousness of God we will also be seeking the very heart of God who desires for humanity to be satisfied in him.

Our own hunger should give us a reality that others are also spiritually hungry. And we should also live with the reality that people are trying to satisfy that hungry in whatever way makes sense to them within this physical world. And as Solomon reminds us, no matter what they try they will be left longing. Scripture tells us to love others that way we love ourselves. And as we have satisfied our hunger in Christ, we should seek to help others satisfy their hunger in Christ. We cannot seek the heart of God and love like God if our love does not lead us to want to see other’s satisfied in Christ.

When you pray for those around you who do not know Christ, would you ask God to give you a compassion for them as ones who are spiritually hungry. Some times we look at our friends and families who do not know Christ and it seems like we have nothing to offer because from the outside their lives seems content. But the reality is they looking and searching for something to fill their longings. They were created to hunger. And they might find temporary satisfaction but God has put eternity in their hearts. They are longing for something more. You have the bread of life that will forever satisfy their soul.

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