Ok, I have a confession. I sometimes hate this time of year (leading up to Easter - I LOVE Easter). Every year for the last few, I try to give things up for Lent, to "fast", but often I fall short or forget or don't take it seriously. Then, I feel bad. I know, I'm pathetic. Honestly, I didn't grow up giving up things for lent so I think this is just all foreign to me.
I mean, I get it, which I think is why I try. It sounds so good, it makes sense and who doesn't want to purge things that aren't really significant to grow closer to God?
However, this morning in my quiet time, I ran across this exert from John Piper. SMACK ME IN THE FACE!!! How wonderful of a statement and declaration about fasting. This, to me, is the true meaning of Lent. I mean, everything he says I've probably heard but it was one of those "Kisses from the King" as I call them, where my great need and His Mercy meet and He speaks clearly. I love it and just meditating on this passage is changing my heart regarding this time of year.
I hope it inspires you too.
John Piper on Fasting:
“Fasting is peculiarly suited to glorify God.
It is fundamentally an offering of emptiness to God in hope. It is a sacrifice of need and hunger.
It says, by its very nature, “Father, I am empty, but you are full. I am hungry, but you are the Bread of Heaven. I am thirsty, but you are the Fountain of Life. I am weak, but you are strong. I am poor, but you are rich. I am foolish, but you are wise. I am broken, but you are whole. I am dying, but your steadfast love is better than life.”
When God sees this confession of need and this expression of trust, he acts, because the glory of his all-sufficient grace is at stake.
The final answer is that God rewards fasting because fasting expresses the cry of the heart that nothing on the earth can satisfy our souls besides God.
God must reward this cry because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.