As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:1-3 NKJV
One of the hardest things about a fast is that it seems like the rest of the world goes on as normal, completely unaware of the sacrifice and the process you are undertaking. FOCUS is again the key! When you keep your eyes on others, you lose sight of what matters. That is why it is helpful to fast with others and in community. At the beginning of each year our entire church fasts together. We even have a local fast food restaurant that serves a special meatless chicken soup during the month of January! Having support and accountability go a long way.
Today, I want you to focus on gratitude. What an amazing word! We have so much to be thankful for! Did you know that your level of gratitude could have a direct effect on your attitude? What are you thankful for? Do you focus more on what you are grateful for, or on what’s not working?
Return to me is the call of Joel 2:12-14. Many times in life, there are hard days, even hard seasons. We’ve all been there. It seems as though one bad day, one harsh criticism or one failure can be all-consuming and cause us to look right past the many good things. Take a moment and read Matthew 6:25-34. As we said in day 2, there is so much in this chapter that relates to the fast you are undertaking, so do not rush through this reading. Take time to note the specific verses that speak to you, even date it in your Bible to reflect on later.
I believe that we have a choice when it comes to the way we see things. Some people are like thermometers; always alerting us when things aren’t right, and constantly a victim to the “temperature” in the room . . . which is never perfect. But others are more like thermostats. These people determine the temperature in the room. Their words, actions and even their thoughts set the atmosphere. Which one are you? As a disciple of Jesus, you bring light to every room you enter. But just like the Bible passage teaches, we can hide that light or we can let it shine.
Think About It
Take a moment to take inventory of all you have to be thankful for. What are the top ten things you are praising God for today?