Grief. It is a natural reaction when we experience loss. It is an emptiness, a numbness, an anger in disguise. Once we held, now we are separated. Where there were conversations, now is a silent longing and ache for what is gone.
Jesus promised in the Sermon on the Mount- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” When we experience loss, we are promised that the presence of God will come in to fill the void and bring comfort.
Every promise in Jesus is Yes and Amen.
But, what does this have to do with fasting? Great question. Fasting is the letting go of the familiar, the comfortable, the routine. Fasting is emptying yourself so that the Lord has room to move and fill you up.
Accompanying fasting is grieving or letting go of old friends- the sins and comfortable habits which define us – and putting on Christ. When we let go of sin which we love and ask Christ to remove what was our comfort and friend (that which was a friend), he can and will take his rightful place on the throne of our hearts.
It can feel like an old friend leaving. It can feel like a loss. Many times, it does not feel amazing, at first. It can feel terrible. But, joy comes in the morning, when we trade our sorrows for the presence of God.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.”
2 Corinthians 7:10-11 NIVUK
For those truly grieving the loss of a loved one, know the Lord is with you! Claim his promise. For those who are holding on to a way of life or a sin which is controlling you, go through the process of grieving your loss. Give it to the Lord. Invite him to be the Lord of your life!
Father, in the name of Jesus, I give you all of the things in my life that have taken precedence over you. I ask you to forgive me for holding onto ways of living, which dishonored you and me. I ask, oh Lord, that you release me and forgive me for being controlled by things that dishonor you. Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within me. God, I am grieved over my sin. You know how much I love my sin .I have listened to my feelings, instead of listening to you. I have been a slave to the one I am obeying. I give all of these things up to you, and put you on the throne of my life. I want to serve you with my full heart, And not a divided heart. I ask that you speak to me, and soften my heart with wisdom and revelation from your Holy Spirit. Anoint me to hear what you say to me. I ask for a new and fresh movement of your Holy Spirit in my life. I ask that you help me to have godly sorrow that leads to repentance. It says in your word that times of refreshing will come from the Lord, when we repent of our sins. I ask that you give me times of refreshing. I pray that you give me victory over the things that I love, But need to hate. Deliver me from myself, fill me with you, teach me your ways, and fill me with the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.