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Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

This attitude portrays a maturity of belief that shows a servant is ready for service. When completeness or wholeness is achieved, the servant receives the satisfaction of being used of God for that which they have been called, trained and equipped.

In ancient times, wages were very low and men often could not earn enough for the family to eat well. Water was also a precious commodity. The emphasis in this Beatitude is the passionate desire for the whole, for complete righteousness as a matter of life and death. Blessed indeed is the one whose most passionate desire is to love God and to love others as they ought. Thus:

Blessed are those who long for total righteousness as a starving person longs for food and as a person perishing of thirst longs for water, for they will be truly satisfied.

People of other faiths are impressed with those who take their faith seriously. They do not respect people whose religion is merely outward form, who are just “weekend Christians.” Much of what they see is materialistic, that is, “carnal” or “worldly” (see 1 Corinthians 3). Christianity turns them off—the low regard for moral purity, the hedonism, the wishy-washiness, the unwillingness to suffer or make sacrifices, the fear of making a stand.

As Brother Andrew says, “How can Muslims respect a church that is in hiding?” Christians need to acknowledge their beliefs and be willing to suffer for their faith and convictions. A more complete righteousness will definitely have great impact. It will earn respect for our preaching the Gospel.

During a visit to Indonesia, a coworker had the wonderful opportunity of participating in an Open Doors SSTS seminar held in an area of intense conflict. The constant presence of armed soldiers outside the building confirmed that this seminar was far more than theology – this was reality! More than 700 churches were already burnt to the ground and the church in the region was facing a severe onslaught.

On the second day of teaching, he remembers one pastor suddenly jumping up and with all his heart cried out, “My brother, please don’t teach us to survive, teach us to be faithful.”

RESPONSE: Today I am so grateful for God’s presence in my life that I yearn for more of Him.

PRAYER: Lord I long for total righteousness so that the world will see more of Your faithfulness in me.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.