Let’s understand the meaning of righteousness. Righteousness is living a right life before God. Living a right life before God doesn’t necessarily mean following a bunch of rules. Rather, living a right life, or righteousness, means living a life in accordance with God’s will. The only way to know God’s will is to know God. You must be in a relationship with God. So think of righteousness as being in a relationship with God.
Like all relationships, a relationship with God may have its up and downs. There are points where we are heavily engaged with God. There are points where we are not. That is the nature of a relationship.
1 John 4:16
"God is love."
There are times when we let God down and there are times that we don’t. Regardless, God still loves us. That is the nature of God. God is love. It is also why God demonstrates to us what a relationship built upon love looks like.
Think of the fruits of the Spirit.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23/NRSV).
These are the fruits of God. Produce sprung forth out of love.
The point is that righteousness isn’t about perfectly following a set of laws. It is about a relationship.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for a relationship with God.
What do we do when we are hungry? We find something to eat. We stop what we are doing. We go to the kitchen. We reach in our desk drawer for a snack. We may get in our car and drive to the nearest fast food restaurant. The point is we will do what it takes to satisfy that hunger.
If we are in a place that doesn’t have any food, our stomach reminds us until we can obtain some food. Perhaps we can’t just stop what we are doing to go get some food, our stomach will rumble and our bodies will weaken until we can stop to get food.
Apply that to a relationship with God. Some people will do whatever it takes to have a relationship with God.
Others know within that they need a relationship with God. Their spirits continuously remind them until they learn how to have a relationship with God.
Either way, it is that hunger or thirst that compels us to have a relationship with God, to pursue righteousness.
Some may say, the hunger and thirst is given by God. God is drawing us to him. But that is a discussion for later.
Know this: The hunger and thirst you have for God is called a blessing by Jesus.