Happy Thursday! On Thursdays, I usually post Bible verses that are encouraging me. I’ve been struggling with some health issues lately, but I’m glad to say that I am back to writing and hoping to share at least one or two Bible verses with you every month.
I can’t believe that we are already more than half way through the season of Lent! I spent the majority of Lent recovering from an emergency eye surgery. I’m happy to report that I am feeling much better (God is good!). It is important to praise God during the joyous as well as the sorrowful times. This is the scripture verse that is encouraging me this week:
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
58:7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
58:8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard (From the Revised Common Lectionary, LINK to source).
A New Type of Lenten Fast
I hope that you are having a blessed Lent. This is a season of fasting and spiritual preparation for the coming of Easter. During Lent, many people fast from sweets, red meat, or social media. However, this Lent is very different. Many of us have already needed to “give up” so many things related to normal life that the thought of abstaining from something else can be overwhelming. Instead, I would like to invite you to join with me in fasting from non-material things.
This Lent, I am trying a new type of Lenten fast. In previous years, I’ve fasted from sweets. I’ve also tried fasting from materialism. This Lent, I am trying to fast from angry words.
I don’t consider myself an angry person, but I’ve been struggling with a lot of pain lately. It is easy to have faith in God and when times are going well, but when you are in a great deal of anguish, it becomes much harder. I have continued to keep my faith, but I struggle with being irritable. I find myself lashing out at the people I love the most, and then I become frustrated with myself. This Lent, I have been trying to refrain from arguing with my husband. So far, I have learned that abstaining from anger is even more challenging than giving up sweets!
Let’s abstain from what separates us from God!
The prophet Isaiah tells us that God is most pleased when we fast from the things that separate us from God. The fast that the Lord prefers is when we abstain from selfishness, anger, and injustice. Isaiah 58:6 reads, “ Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”
I invite you to join with me in trying a different kind of fast this Lent: Let’s give up hate, fear, anger, judging others based on their appearance, and hurtful words. We all sin and make mistakes, but God forgives us for any sin when we earnestly repent. When we truly repent, we work to make things right. The root for the word “repentance,” means “turning around to the right path.” Lent is a time for repentance. We honor the Lord when we help those who are in need. “Share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house… then your light shall break forth like the dawn (Isaiah 58-7-8).”
Have a Blessed Lent,
This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”
Now, it’s your turn! What Scripture verse is inspiring you this week? Let me know in the comments below! I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday.
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories By Gina
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Words of Hope
Claudia @ By Claudia Moser