Not only is consumerism everywhere, it’s harmful, both to us and to those we consume from. Even non-Christian sources are readily acknowledging that consumerism has become a real problem. But the good news of the gospel is thatJesus himself died and rose again to forgive us of our selfishness, our taking, and our lack of gratefulness. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Last month, we had our first birthday as Sound City Bible Church. We’ve experienced God’s favor and grace to us in some amazing ways in this past year. And while it seems like it was only yesterday, it was about this time last year that the provisional board and founding elders were prayerfully and busily meeting together almost daily in an effort to establish the basic foundations of this newborn church.
The following tips come from the book Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch. If you are someone who struggles with depression, or if you are someone who wants to help those who do struggle, I would highly encourage you to purchase a copy of this very helpful book. Please note that these lists are not meant to be exhaustive. They simply can help “prime the pump” as you think of ways to battle depression.
A few years ago, one of our Covenant Members participated in a church-wide fast for the first time in his life. His experience was powerful and life-transforming. Below is an email that he sent to the elders of the church (shared with permission). Our hope in sharing this is that those of you who are nervous or apprehensive about fasting would be encouraged to participate in this important spiritual discipline.
Above all things, pray. Talk to your father who loves you. Pray about your fast, pray about your plan, and pray when you’re hungry. Pray about your motives and be honest, pray about your limitations, and remember that God won’t be impressed if your fast is more difficult. He’s already fully pleased with you because of Jesus, so fast in whichever way you choose and praise God that you don’t have to earn his favor through misery! For all these reasons, we can rejoice as we fast.
Fasting is an awesome gift. And like all gifts, it can be misconstrued, misused, and abused. We run the risk of ending up bitterly disappointed, not to mention very, very hungry. Now that we know what fasting is and why we fast, let’s consider what fasting is not and why we so often fail to practice this spiritual discipline.