Ravenous for Righteousness


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6, ESV)

What does spiritual hunger look like to you?

Is it in that person on his knees, hands raised high in the air, head tilted back, tears streaming down his cheeks as he cries out for more of God?

Is it in the brand new Christian, full of the zeal of her first love, devouring chapter upon chapter of the Bible as she experiences each sacred book therein for the very first time?

Is it in the elderly brother who has walked with the Lord intimately for so many years that the smile in his eyes glows luminescent with the light of God?

What about the one who has served Him for quite a while, and has crashed face first into yet another agonizingly difficult trial? The one who is finding it painfully hard just to get out of bed this morning? That one whose heart is bleeding and for whom prayer is a painstaking effort? That one who feels like God is distant right now – what about her? Does she count as spiritually hungry and thirsty?

We may not always recognize spiritual appetite if we have a romanticized view of it. Yes, it might sometimes look like one of those first three descriptions. However, being hungry and thirsty for righteousness is not necessarily a pleasant, enjoyable feeling. Oftentimes, it’s quite the opposite.

I remember, growing up in church, that we would frequently sing, “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee…” A lovely song. Profound, poetic. Right out of Psalm 42. I imagine you may have sung it too? Here is the graceful Scripture is comes from: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42:1-2b, NKJV). Beautiful, right? Inspiring?

However, did you ever notice the context of this deeply passionate appeal? In just the very next verse, the psalmist is expressing agony. “My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?’” (v. 3). This is no Holy Ghost goose bump moment. This cry for God is born out of deep anguish.

Spiritual hunger will take many different forms over the course of our lifetime. There are occasions when it may also present itself as a subtle discomfort in the soul. Maybe you feel uneasy, and you’re not sure what is “off.” Stop. Pause. Listen with your spirit. This may be exactly akin to the hunger you experience after a nonstop day where you’ve hardly had a chance to eat. Maybe that unsettled feeling is hunger!

No matter what trial or triumph is flavoring your present reality, you can train yourself to tune into the appetite of your spirit. In every season, your inner being needs God even more than you require physical food, water, or even oxygen. Learn to recognize the many distinct ways that the craving for God can manifest itself in your heart – and then run after Him with all that is within you! Your life depends on it.


What shape is your spiritual hunger taking today?


12 thoughts on “Ravenous for Righteousness

  1. Jennifer, thanks for sharing a very insightful post. The headline of “Ravenous for Righteous” is rich in meaning. When I sit with my Bible during my morning time, I try to fill the hunger that I have to experience God’s word. I eagerly await each day to fill myself again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My hunger grows more each day, and for this I am glad. Yes, we speak of hunger “pains” when our bodies call out for food to satisfy our needs. In my life, there is often pain that precedes my calling on the Lord. At times I yearn for relief of discomfort or from fear of what is to be. Then I recall the disciples chained in prison, calling upon the Father, with joy in there hearts, knowing that He will fill their present needs. That I may focus on His Glory, knowing that my hunger will bear witness to our never ending desire for HIM. Amen Len W.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Because of domestic decisions my wife and I have made, we’ve had numerous people credit us and say our reward will be great. Nice of them to say, but I find myself far too busy fighting the battle related to those decisions to think much about rewards once the war is over. So my spiritual hunger today is to maintain the ability to see reminders large and small of what I know to be true– His continuing presence as the journey continues. — Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hunger that our God touch those who are suffering with chronic conditions. Those who feel there is no hope, sometimes. I would the Holy Spirit feed them with the assurance of peace and with unspealable love.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Thank you. This is insightful. Spiritual hunger is so hard to define. I certainly experienced it differently when I was younger than I do today. Somehow now spiritual hunger for me seems to be in the desperate longing somehow for ALL the brokenness, sorrows and needs to be filled and for Life in NEWNESS and beauty be discovered. I’m not sure if it is in a longing for Him and His Eternity or a reflection of His longing for a pure and Holy Bride who will one day join with the waiting Bridegroom.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s