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Transclude of Matt-16#24

Self-denial is required of anyone who would follow Christ.

When fasting, we practice to suffer joyfully

Whosoever knows best how to suffer will keep the greatest peace. That man is conqueror of himself, and Lord of the world, the friend of Christ, and heir of Heaven. Thomas a Kempis, quoted in The Spirit of the Disciplines

Pain and Suffering are a reality of life. How do we respond when it enters our lives? Happiness comes from internal order rather than outward circumstances. When fasting, we deny ourselves our wishes and look to God to fill us, so when others deny our wishes, we might do the same.

Our joy comes from God

Jesus tells us not to be distressed and sad when we fast (16–v18). He is not telling us to be misleading those around us but explaining how we will really feel: Not sad.

Fasting unto our Lord is therefore feasting–feasting on him and on doing his will. Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines

When fasting, the joy we receive from allowing God to fill us up surpasses the joy from a good meal.

Fasting disciples our taste buds

This hits close to home for me. I love cooking and I love eating. To a fault sometimes. When a meal wouldn’t meet my expectations I would get stressed out and disappointed.

Life is more than food

Transclude of Deut-8#3
==—3== It is problematic when my happiness is tied too closely to eating. Food can become an idol.

When fasting, I give up this source of well being completely and put it back into its place: My belly is not my God (19, 18); it is God’s and his joyful servant (13).

Fasting leads to humility

When fasting, I recognise how utterly dependent I am on God’s life-sustaining provision. It makes me aware of how small I am. It teaches Humility.