“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied…Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 5: 6 & 8
These two beatitudes build on each other, as well as on the other beatitudes, especially the first two. The poor in spirit who understands how desperately he needs God, and the one who mourns over his own sinful heart hunger and thirst for the righteousness that can only be found in God. As Paul tells us in Romans 3:10, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless, no one does good, not even one.”
It is a miracle of God’s grace that any of us are saved. In our natural, fallen state we do not seek God, we give no thought to our deplorable condition, lost in sin, wandering far from Him. I still vividly remember the moment that I first realized that I was lost. It was as though a curtain was pulled open and in a moment I saw it all – a holy God, my Creator, Jesus, my Savior crucified and risen, heaven and hell. What had been just religious jargon, I heard all my childhood became more real than the chair I was sitting on. I desperately needed the righteousness that comes by faith, and in finding it I was satisfied, and at peace.
From that time I have been secure as God’s child, confident in the gift of righteousness that is mine in Christ. However, even after decades of walking with God, purity of heart eludes me. As Paul confessed in Romans 7:17, sin dwells within me. Just when I think I’m doing well, ugly thoughts pop up to ruin my day. Shall I ever know true purity of heart and the blessing of seeing God? There are glimpses, as though through a glass darkly, but I the blessing of seeing God face to face will only come to us in the resurrection. (I Corinthians 13:12) It is a hope that will be fulfilled. I shall, in that day, look upon the face of the One who loves me and who died for me.