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Editor’s Note: Pastor Scott Peterson is sharing daily devotions written by some of his favorite authors. The author’s biography and any notes by Pastor Scott are listed at the end of the devotion.

The Hunger for Righteousness

Deeper than any other need is our need for oneness and rightness with God. This is the longing with many names, the longing for rest, for peace, for home! Deep as it is, sometimes it hardly finds words. I’ve found myself voicing it in words like these:

Dear God,
I’m sorry!
I really am.
That’s all I have to say today;
You understand.
Thank you. Amen.

Frost, 1985

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).

The only righteousness within our reach is that we are in God’s reach. The highest use of his power is in the forgiving of our sins. This righteousness is an alien gift, alien in the sense that it can only come from outside us and beyond. Only God can declare it. Nothing we do can bind up our broken relationship with God. Christ is our righteousness This is grace. And this is always a gift! But it can be ours, whoever and wherever we are.  

Where forgiveness and salvation are at stake, I must not consult my fluctuating feelings. When I say this, I’m reminded of my childhood days along the banks of a little local stream, the Riceford Creek. It was a tame little waterflow under normal circumstances, but following heavy rain, it could be quite a challenge for a child to cross it. I learned early, however,  that when I stepped from one flat rock to another I was safe as long as I looked at the rocks; but dizziness would surely set in if I failed to concentrate on the unmoving rocks and looked away at the foaming stream.

Today I know that spiritual dizziness sets in whenever I seek stability in my moods and feelings- all that foam and spray. I am at peace only when my heart is stayed on Christ, for he is the sole ground of my joy and hope.

(Frost 1986a)

Gerhard Frost (1909 – 1988) was a Lutheran Pastor, a college and seminary professor, and a poet.  A student and friend of his described him this way, “…beloved by all who knew him. He had a Lincolnesque combination of strength and quietness about him.”  That is an apt description of Gerhard Frost when I met him in 1978.  As a guest speaker, he read his poetry at my internship congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Wadena, MN.

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