“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness–for they shall be filled.” _5:6
Hunger is a painful sensation. It is not merely an appetite for food; but an appetite for food attended with pain. So spiritually. It is not merely a desire after Christ that constitutes spiritual hunger. “The sluggard desires, and has nothing.” But it is a desire attended with pain; not merely a wish for spiritual food, but also with such painful sensations, that unless this appetite is satisfied, the soul must perish and die. Nothing short of this constitutes spiritual hunger. There are many who say, “I have a desire.” If it be a spiritual desire, it will be granted. But spiritual desire is always attended with painful sensations which many are completely ignorant of who profess to have a desire. “The desire of the slothful kills him.” Why? Because he rests satisfied with a desire, and never takes the kingdom of heaven by violence.
The expression “thirst” conveys a still larger meaning. Hunger is more supportable than thirst. People die sooner when left without water than without food. Intense thirst is perhaps the most painful of all bodily sensations that a human being can know. The Spirit has therefore made use of this figure in order to convey the intense desire of a living soul–that he must have Christ, or perish–must feel his blood sprinkled upon the conscience, or die in his sins–must “know him, and the power of his resurrection,” or pass into the gloomy chambers of eternal woe–must have the presence of Jesus sensibly realized, and the love of God shed abroad, or else of all men be the most miserable.
Thought provoking. Something to pay careful attention to, and pray over.
Oftentimes, the trials in our own lives are a direct reflection of something God is trying to tell us spiritually.
Here is an example: Does it seem all of your time is being consumed with things you would rather not be doing and you have barely any time for yourself? All of your ‘me’ time is nearly non-existent? Wake up! Maybe God is trying to tell you that you’re not spending enough time with Him; so your ‘me’ time is being taken away because it seems your ‘me’ time far outweighs your “God” time.
Whatever is going on in your life, take a moment and think: What is God trying to tell me? Whatever you are suffering, compare it to something you might be doing that displeases God and see if it fits. Many of your sufferings, trials, and tribulations may very well…
“Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord!” – Deu_33:29
He who affirms that Christianity makes men miserable, is himself an utter stranger to it. It were strange indeed, if it made us wretched, for see to what a position it exalts us! It makes us sons of God. Suppose you that God will give all the happiness to his enemies, and reserve all the mourning for his own family? Shall his foes have mirth and joy, and shall his home-born children inherit sorrow and wretchedness? Shall the sinner, who has no part in Christ, call himself rich in happiness, and shall we go mourning as if we were penniless beggars? No, we will rejoice in the Lord always, and glory in our inheritance, for we “have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but we have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” The rod of chastisement must rest upon us in our measure, but it worketh for us the comfortable fruits of righteousness; and therefore by the aid of the divine Comforter, we, the “people saved of the Lord,” will joy in the God of our salvation. We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief? Our hearts are knit unto him: we are his members, and though for awhile we may suffer as our Head once suffered, yet we are even now blessed with heavenly blessings in him. We have the earnest of our inheritance in the comforts of the Spirit, which are neither few nor small. Inheritors of joy for ever, we have foretastes of our portion. There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising. Our riches are beyond the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side the river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts, and urge us onward. Truly is it said of us, “Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord?”