Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
This point is worth making, because many people would have assumed it would say, “Blessed are the righteous.” Righteous people go to church. Holy people are religious people. God blesses people who have their act together. After all, doesn’t the Bible say, “God helps those who help themselves?” (No, it doesn’t.)
God promotes righteousness, but when it comes to you and me, He rewards those who want it, not those who have it, and if they want it, it’s precisely because they know they don’t have it that they want it so badly.
Hungering and thirsting for righteousness tells you two things about the person who is blessed: 1) they aren’t righteous, and 2) they know they aren’t.
You only hunger for what you don’t have. These people God blesses know their sinfulness; they know they are not righteous, just as the Bible says, in them dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18). Still we want it. We want to please God with our whole heart. We are starving for a righteousness we know is beyond our grasp, and guess what, God blesses us with it.
But here is something that is true about all these beatitudes: you don’t just hunger once and then walk through the rest of your life filled; you don’t cry once and then you are comforted; you aren’t meek today and inheriting the earth tomorrow; you aren’t poor in spirit once and then you get heaven from there on out. These attitudes are constant states of being. We will always be hungering and thirsting for righteousness; we live in a constant awareness of our own spiritual need.
Actually, it fits the profile … spiritually impoverished, meek, broken, unrighteous people are the people God blesses. Why? Because they come to God empty and He fills them, day by day, moment by moment.
Heaven is going to be populated with people who don’t think they deserve to be there. Christians are flabbergasted people. The Gospel of Welcome promotes sinners. Believe me, you’ll love this group! Welcome in all those who know their need, and know that God has everything they long for.