How often have you heard that question? How often have you answered, “Yes!” If you are like me, you may think that “Yes!” is the only possible answer to that question. In fact, you may be hungry right now. And, you may grow hungrier as the morning passes by. However, I want to use your physical hunger this morning to talk about something more important.
One of the most basic of all human needs is the need for food. We all need food. We need it every day. Without it, we would get sick and eventually die. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new. Because our need for food is so important, our desire for food is very strong. Hunger motivates. It makes you do something to resolve the problem. In fact, the hungrier you become, the more that hunger dominates your thoughts and eventually your actions. If a person gets hungry enough, he may be motivated to steal. He may even become motivated to kill – just so that he can eat. Hunger is a powerful desire.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made a comment about hunger. However, He was not talking about physical hunger. Here is what He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6) This is a simple statement, but it carries a very deep meaning. Jesus spoke about those individuals who hunger and thirst for righteousness. However, I don’t think He was talking about those people who are just a little hungry, but those who are starving. Like the prodigal son who wished he could eat what the pigs were eating. Like the Lord Himself who had just spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting. That’s real hunger – and its something that probably very few of us have ever felt.
But Jesus was not talking about physical hunger. Instead, He was talking about a spiritual need – a need for righteousness. We should all feel this need. We should all feel a need for God. One of my favorite passages comes from Psalm 42. It reads, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2) This describes how we should feel about God. It describes real hunger and thirst. Here is another passage that describes it. “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1) Do we have this kind of hunger and thirst for God? For righteousness? I hope so. If we don’t, we need to work on it.
Having said this, I now want to focus our attention on something I said earlier. Hunger motivates. If you are physically hungry for food, you do something about it – you eat. If there is no food around you, you find some. And nothing stands in you way! But, if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, what should we do? The principle remains the same – do something!
You need to begin by making your life right with God. Spend time studying His Word. Spend time with Him in prayer. Do what He commands you. Grow closer to God. If you really hunger for Him, this will not be difficult. It will not be boring or something you do because you feel like you should. Instead, it will become something you look forward to. Something you long for.
Jesus said something else in Matthew 5:6. He said that if we do hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be satisfied. Some of the other translations say we will “be filled”. In other words, our spiritual hunger will be taken care of. This is the promise of God. Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. Hunger and you will be filled.