September 08, 2020

Desiring the Kingdom

Matthew 5:6-12

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

—  Matthew 5:6

How many desires have you had in the past 24 hours?

Here’s a handful of mine: I’ve desired a delicious meal, a restful sleep, a win for my favorite hockey team (and they won!), a kind response to an email I sent about a stressful situation, a safe trip for a loved one. And there are more—in fact, I’ve probably had hundreds of desires in the past 24 hours.

In the “Blessed are . . .” statement we are looking at today, Jesus invites us to examine our desires and hold them up to his standard. Do our desires align with hungering and thirsting for righteousness?

Years ago, I was with some people at church discussing the second coming of Jesus. And they were surprised when I blurted out, “I don’t know if I want Jesus to come back yet. I want to see my infant daughter grow up. I want to fix up the 100-year-old house we bought. I have so many plans I want to carry out.” The room became very quiet. Then our pastor said gently, “Syd, do you want to see a world where there is no more cancer, or hunger, or crime, or war?” “Yes, I do,” I said sheepishly. “Then,” he replied, “you want Jesus to come back. Your desires are what he also desires.”

God can help us sort out our desires that might not fit with seeking righteousness, and he can give us a deep passion for the desires that align with his heart. His wisdom is available to us always (James 1:5), and he is always with us to guide us.

Lord, by your wisdom and power, help us align our desires to match the longings of your heart. Amen.

About the author — Syd Hielema

Syd Hielema serves the Christian Reformed Church in North America as director of a ministry project called Connections II. He has also served with Faith Formation Ministries, as a professor of theology and youth ministry at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, and as a chaplain and professor at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Syd has been married to Evelyn for 43 years, and they enjoy bird watching near their home in Ancaster.

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