Current Broadcast

In our image-conscious society, there is an enormous emphasis placed on appearing to be someone you’re not. Playing such a role is not just inauthentic; it also encourages us to keep others at a distance.

More Information
New? Start Here!

Connect with Insight for Living Canada and learn more about our non-profit Bible-teaching ministry.

Ministry Offer
Doing What's Right

In Micah 6:8, the bold prophet answered the question many people wonder about today: What does the Lord expect of us?

View Details
Current Devotional

Read Matthew 5:6

The true servant of God possesses an insatiable appetite for what is right, a passionate drive for justice. Spiritually speaking, the servant is engaged in a pursuit of God...a hot, restless, eager longing to walk with Him, to please Him. That's who Jesus referred to when He said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matthew 5:6).

Eleventh-century Bernard of Clairvaux expressed it in this way in his hymn, "Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts":

We taste Thee, O Thou living bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the fountainhead,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill. ¹

Bernard's pen dripped with that insatiable appetite for God.

But there is a practical side of this fourth beatitude as well. It includes not just looking upward, pursuing a vertical holiness, but also looking around and being grieved over the corruption, the inequities, the gross lack of integrity, the moral compromises that abound. The servant "hungers and thirsts" for right on earth. Unwilling simply to sigh and shrug off the lack of justice and purity as inevitable, servants press on for righteousness. Some would call them idealists or dreamers.

Another teacher, the great seventeenth century preacher and Bible expositor, Matthew Henry, offers an eloquent assessment of this concept. He points out that true righteousness grows in humility, through patient acceptance of whatever life may throw at us. Whether life brings us poverty or wealth, sickness or health, or just normal day-to-day existence, the deeper rewards of the Christian life come through patient and obedient dependence upon God. Henry writes:

Those who contentedly bear oppression, and quietly refer themselves to God to plead their cause, shall in due time be satisfied, abundantly satisfied, in the wisdom and kindness, which shall be manifested in the appearances for them. ²

The idea of hungering and thirsting for righteousness may sound a bit strained to our modern ears, but Matthew Henry tells us that those who seek God's blessings will naturally desire to experience genuine righteousness. And righteousness, he says, grows out of a deep and abiding love for Jesus Christ. The blessings of heaven are purchased for us, not by our own holiness or piety but by the righteousness of Christ.

And what will happen when this passionate appetite is a part of one's life? What does Jesus promise? "They shall be satisfied" (Matthew 5:6). What a picture of contentment! Contented in soul and satisfied within, the servant with an appetite for righteousness will be filled. It's comforting to hear that promise.

Normally, one would think such an insatiable pursuit would make one so intense there would be only fretfulness and agitation. But, no, Jesus promises to bring a satisfaction to such hungry and thirsty souls...a "rest" of spirit that conveys quiet contentment.

1. Bernard of Clairvaux, "Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts," trans. Ray Palmer, in Hymns for the Family of God (Nashville: Paragon, 1976), hymn 451.
2. Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible: Genesis to Revelation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1961), 1220.

Excerpted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

Current Articles
Feb 17, 2017

May I begin by stating the obvious? I’m not a woman. Nor have I ever wanted to be one! I’m no authority on women. But after 61 years of marriage and almost 50 years of fatherhood to two daughters, I’ve learned a few things about what makes women tick.

Feb 14, 2017

When I was younger I used to hear people say, “Get real!” They’d say it to someone whom they though was living in an artificial world and needed to get in touch with reality. I believe it’s a phrase some Christians need to hear today.

Feb 10, 2017

All people need to be pointed to Christ and His Holy Spirit to transform into Christlikeness and not be viewed as projects to be fixed. Gender Identity Disorder is not beyond the reach of God's grace, compassionate church-based care, and professional help.

Feb 3, 2017

Procrastination, to paraphrase the dictionary, is a wilful delay of doing something that should be done. If I’m wilfully delaying paying my bills, then it’s as if I’m also doing this unto the Lord. So it’s wrong.

Insights Publication