Summary: This is the fourth of the "Be" attitudes.
Starving For Righteousness – The Fourth Step To Happiness
We have been making a journey through a section of the scripture known as the beatitudes. The beatitudes are found in Matthew chapter five. All of them begin with the word “blessed.” Another word for blessed is happy. So as we have been making our way down through the beatitudes – we are finding steps to happiness.
If you will recall we have already looked at the first three steps. Humility was the first step to happiness. Repentance was the second step. Teachability was the third step and today we are going to look at step four – starving for righteousness.
Today we are going to focus in on verse six. Follow along with me as I read:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)
Let me ask you, “What are you starving for? What are you hungry for? What is the deepest desire of your heart? What is it that you long for more than anything else?” That’s what Jesus it talking about when He says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”
A young man came to Socrates and told him that he wanted knowledge. "Follow me" the philosopher told the young man and led him to the edge of the ocean and into the water, without warning Socrates grabbed the young man and plunged him beneath the water and held him there until the young man stopped struggling. Then Socrates pulled the young man out of the water – gasping for air. Socrates then dragged the boy to the shore, left him there on the sand and returned to the market place. When the young man recovered he sought out Socrates again and asked him why he tried to drown him. Socrates replied, "When you were under the water what did you want more then anything else?" The young man replied, “I wanted to breath. I needed air.” Socrates responded by saying, "When you crave knowledge like you craved air, then you may be able to find it."
What do you long for? Do you long for righteousness? Do you long for Godly things? Is righteousness the desire of your heart? The Bible says we need to have a starvation hunger – a starvation drive for righteousness.
Do you know what righteousness is? Righteousness is how God behaves. Righteousness is how God acts and reacts to everything He has created – because He is righteous.
Righteousness is becoming GODLY.
The Bible says God is righteous and true. We need to desire to be like Him. When something is wicked we need to call it wicked. When something is sinful we need to call it sinful. When something is pure and holy we need to hold on to it. We need to have a burning desire for it. We need to study it and live it. Our driving passion – our driving force – our driving hunger – needs to be on those things that are pleasing to God.
God wants us to have a desire so strong for Him that it is almost like starvation hunger. The desire for righteousness should drive our lives. Look at what David wrote in Psalm forty two verse one.
“As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God.” (GNB)
David had it right – he knew the only one who could provide satisfaction was God Himself.
But here is the problem. We try to find satisfaction in the wrong places. We try to find satisfaction in the wrong stuff. We try to satisfy our souls with things that have no eternal value. Let me give you six examples of things that will not satisfy.
1. PROSPERITY doesn’t give lasting satisfaction.
Someone told me a while back, “I don’t know if I could handle a winning a million dollars – but I sure would like to give it a try.”
Folks here is a fact:
Money doesn’t automatically bring HAPPINESS.
Folks you could have all the money that you could possibly ever want and that may not make you happy. Money can disappear in a moment. Look at what Proverbs chapter twenty seven says:
“Wealth is not forever. Nor does a crown last from one generation to the next.” Pro 27:24 (GW)
Margaret Henry told a story a little while back in one of our Bible studies here. She had been over to Help House – which you know is set up to help people who need food and clothing. Margaret said there was a lady inside who had a great spirit – she seemed full of joy and happiness. When the lady got ready to leave Margaret noticed that the lady was driving an old car with one of the windows broken out and tape or plastic over it. The lady didn’t have much money but she had a pleasant spirit. Her happiness didn’t seem to be based on the amount of money she had.