The Beatitudes Part 4: Are You Hungry and Thirsty?

Note: This post is part four in a series of eight posts on the Beatitudes.


Jesus Christ spoke the language of the common people but He gave it an uncommon application.

The Greeks had the word “makarios.”  They used it to describe the blissful state of their gods.  The Athenians used it to describe the living conditions of the very wealthy who were thought to have no cares.  Jesus brought it down to earth and shared the secret of how such a state can be achieved by anyone regardless of their station or rank in life.

The root word from which we get our word beatitudes is the Latin “beatus,” which means blessed or happy.  The happiness of which Christ spoke is not a happy passing moment of merriment but a state of wellbeing involving an internal joyousness.

Spiritually our feelings, emotions, and sentiments are not determined by what happens around us as much as by our attitude.  You are no person’s marionette unless you allow yourself to be.

Jesus knew this, and He spoke of happiness as being given birth from within.  This is a beatitude related to ambition.  It speaks of a strong desire.

To hunger is to avidly desire something.  It signifies a need for nourishment.  A desire, fed by a painful lack, that God’s will be done.  Athletes hunger to win.

To thirst is a yearning, a passionate desire for spiritual good.  The present tense of the participle is used meaning a constant and habitual state.

Jesus chose two basic appetites to dramatize our desires.  David described his desire for the Lord as being like a little deer who is thirsty for water.

Every person has an appetite.  To fill our appetite with improper substance is to defeat our potential happiness.

The Prophet Jeremiah described the perverted spiritual thirst of his day by speaking of leaky cisterns.  A cistern is a water container.  Jeremiah said, “My people have committed two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)

Our unsatisfiable appetite must be for righteousness, present tense, continuous action. 

Happy is the person whose most intense desire is to enter into a right relationship with God.  Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden.

A person who is righteous desires to see the cause of righteousness vindicated.  Our entire being should be fuel for His fire.

Righteousness, translates the Greek “dikaiosune” which means “to be right with God.” Only when you have a craving ambition above all else to be right with God will you be happy.

“I have been reading the Beatitudes,” Lincoln said to a friend, “And can at least claim one of the blessings therein unfolded.  It is the blessing pronounced upon those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

How is your appetite?