The Sin of Not Wanting Enough
In John 6 a large crowd crosses the Sea of Galilee looking for Jesus. But when they find him, instead of welcoming their “seeking” Jesus says to them,
Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. (John 6:26, 27)
A little later on in the chapter, he purposely offends them with his “hard sayings” so that many turn away and no longer follow him. But weren't the crowds coming to the right source of blessing? Didn’t they believe that he could and would heal them and give them bread to eat?
They did, and he certainly had the power to do it, but the problem was that that was all they wanted. They didn’t join the disciples in saying, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).
The Israelites who fell in the wilderness had this same kind of "faith". They believed in God enough to complain to him about their dry tongues, but they lacked a thirst for righteousness.
The sort of faith that pleases God—real faith—is the kind that is created by him through the hearing of the gospel (Ephesians 2:8, 9). It rests in Christ alone and hungers and thirsts for righteousness. It is the kind that, when calamity strikes, results in worship and comfort that our “redeemer lives” (Job 19:25). It is the “peace that passes understanding.” This sort of faith causes us to cry out for mercy knowing we are sinners in need of the righteousness that only One could purchase for us.
By faith we hunger and thirst and are satisfied (Revelation 21:6). By faith we are comforted that all things, no matter how painful or sweet, will work together for our good, reaping eternal benefits that are so wonderful that they can’t even be compared to our grief (1 Peter 1:6, Romans 8:28). True faith believes that God is good and rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
If as Christians we are called to endure difficult trials and yet always receive temporal blessings like health and safety, our peace could not rightly be called the “peace that passes understanding”. It would actually be quite reasonable.
If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are you! (Matthew 5:6)
Sign up to receive a daily digest of new articles from Desiring God.