Good morning, Five Minute Families. Today we are finishing our series on fasting. We are to the T in our FAST acronym: F - First things first, A - accountability, S - satisfaction, and T - trust. A few questions to kick us off: Would you trust God if you have your life threatened? To have you sold into modern-day slavery? To be thrown in jail under false accusations? To be ignored for years?
It seems preposterous that God would allow unspeakable evils to happen in this world. God is a God of love, after all. Yet, how much do we trust Him when the sinful world we live in falls on us? Threats, slavery, and false accusations all exist still today, though we may want to bury our heads in the sand.
And, they existed and all occurred against Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. Joseph was disliked by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused, but still rose to the second highest office of the land in which he lived. As the years marched on, Joseph trusted God to make sense of the evils set against him. And, when he was in a position to save not only his father and closest brother, he also saved all the brothers who were cruel to him, cruel to their father by deception, and more. He said in Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” Can we say that? How much do we fully trust that God will work ALL things for His glory and our good?
I certainly couldn’t see how our losing a longed-for child through an ectopic pregnancy, being in ongoing pain from the surgery that followed, and then losing the house we had waited for for so long could possibly have a positive meaning. It was just suffering, plain and simple. Now, suffering is part of this earthly life and will draw us closer to the Lord. So, I suffered, knowing logically that I would learn something but wondering what on earth it could possibly be. One evening, someone I dearly love who does not believe in God, asked how I was doing. After years of lovingly sharing about the Lord only to receive cold looks or the person walking out, he stayed and listened. He listened to me speak of grieving my little one’s life and how I knew that I needed to trust God despite the losses being costly and disappointing. They were teaching me something. I shared that I had hope that that baby’s life mattered greatly to the God of the universe and its life had meaning. As I rambled, as I am prone to do, I spoke of the many sacrifices of Christ and my joys of living for Him. After I went home, I realized, that the death of our baby had allowed the longest, most open, least-filtered conversation with my loved one about my God and my heart toward Him. And, then, this death made sense; our baby’s extremely short existence had purpose. Trusting the Lord allowed me to be part of something greater that He is working on.
He is always faithful. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
As your family fasts together, make sure you intentionally focus on building your trust in the Lord. Some suggestions on how to do that include:
1. Work together to perform some trust exercises with your children.
2. When you get hungry, have a plan for drawing your focus to the Lord so you can see how well He can fill you… worship the Lord with music you love, scripture you want to memorize, or even an area you want to take a hike in. Or, rest. You are working on less energy. The kiddos are working on focusing on something other than their fleshy desire for sugars, whatever it is, so allow time to rest to focus on trusting the Lord to get you through, not just busy-ness.
3. Discuss areas where you each lack trust in the Lord and pray for each other in those areas.
4. Do not let your feelings lead you. Look to the truth of Scripture, remember all that God has done in your life, and then re-evaluate your feelings based on truth and remembrance. One author coined it this way “fact, faith, feeling.”
5. Reflect on God’s promises. Look up the various promises of God in the Bible and discuss how God kept those promises.
The end of Colossians 1:16 reminds us that “all things were created through Him and for Him.” God should be preeminent in our lives, and as we pray and fast, we can grow firm hearts by trusting in the Lord. Fasting together as a family allows us to quiet our flesh, letting God work in you and through you. Be blessed!