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Declaring Our Helplessness and Hope in God: A Little Motivation, Part Two

Declaring our Helplessness and Hope in God

It can be challenging to keep your fast during the first few days. Your body and appetite are adjusting. You’re hungry, you crave comfort foods, and depending on the type of fast, your body may be weak. So it’s helpful to have a little extra motivation these first few days. It’s beneficial to be reminded of what actions you’re taking before God when you fast—and in turn, how you can expect Him to respond.

In Part One of this article, we began taking a look at some of these fasting actions. We saw that when you fast you are:

  1. Seeking First God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness
  2. Drawing Near to God
  3. Requiring His Presence
  4. Humbling Yourself Before God

We discussed how God rewards each of these acts. Not that we fast for the rewards, but when food cravings are in overdrive, sometimes it helps to be reminded!

Today we continue with the fifth action of fasting. When you fast, you are:

5. Declaring Your Helplessness and Hope in God

Fasting expresses confidence in nothing around us except God Himself. When we fast, we shift our focus from temporal, visible securities to God and the eternal. This helps us stop clinging to and depending on earthly things. Instead, we put our full weight upon God.

When you fast, you’re declaring your complete helplessness before God. You’re acknowledging to yourself and to God that you are utterly weak and incapable—you must have Him! You’re telling God that your hope is in Him and Him alone.

God Rewards Acts Signifying Human Helplessness and
Hope in God

John Piper writes,

God is committed to rewarding those acts of the human heart that signify human helplessness and hope in God. Over and over again in Scripture God promises to come to the aid of those who stop depending on themselves and seek God as their treasure and help. [1]

For it is:

  • The “poor in spirit” who will be rewarded with the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
  • Those who “wait for the Lord” for whom he works (Isaiah 64:4).
  • Those who “trust in God,” and not their horses or chariots who are given victory by His power (1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 13:18; Psalm 20:7).
  • Those who “delight in the Lord” and trust in Him who receive the desires of their heart (Psalm 37:4-5).
  • The sacrifices of a broken spirit and a contrite heart that are acceptable to God (Psalm 51:17).
  • The one who serves God “by the strength which God supplies” and not in his own strength who will be rewarded by the Lord (1 Peter 4:11).

Application Questions

What are your causes for fasting? What needs are you bringing to God as you fast?

Now that you’re fasting, has it illuminated where you trust has been placed? Before this fast, what or who were you trusting to meet your needs and provide an answer to what are now your causes for fasting?

In what has your confidence been placed? Has your hope been in the economy, the stock market, your job, or your bank account? Have you been trusting in your ingenuity, skill, and plans? Have you been counting on people and man-made solutions to your problems?

Before the fast, were you fretting and desperately maneuvering everything around you, trying to manipulate the answer to your need?

As you are fasting, you’re expressing confidence in nothing around you except God Himself. You’re declaring your complete helplessness before God and putting your full weight on Him.

  • You’re acknowledging that you are poor in spirit—God rewards the poor in spirit with the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
  • You’re waiting for the Lord and Him alone—God works on behalf of those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 64:4)
  • You’re trusting in God, not in “horses or chariots”—God can and will give you victory! (1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 13:18; Psalm 20:7).

“When you fast… your Father, who sees
what is done in secret, will reward you.”
~ Matthew 6:17-18

TweetablesTweetables

  • “God is committed to rewarding those acts of the human heart that signify human helplessness and hope in God.” ~ John Piper Click to tweet Tweet
  • When you fast, you’re acknowledging that you’re poor in spirit. God rewards the poor in spirit with the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3) Click to tweet Tweet
  • When you fast, you’re waiting for God and Him alone. God works on behalf of those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 64:4) Click to tweet Tweet
  • When you fast, you’re trusting in God, not in “horses or chariots.” To those who trust in Him, God gives victory! (1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 13:18; Psalm 20:7) Click to tweet Tweet

 

Question: How does it make you feel to know that God rewards the poor in spirit—that He works on behalf of those who wait for and trust in Him? 

 

OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES

RELATED ARTICLES

FROM THE ARCHIVES

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  1. John Piper, A Hunger for God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1997), 178


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