Our understanding of God affects our understanding of His forgiveness.
If you have a weak moment and you break your fast, should you resume the fast or discontinue it?
I’m reading a book called the “The Fasting Edge” and in it, Pastor Jentezen Franklin shares the story of a young pastor who worked at his church. The young pastor was new to fasting and didn’t think he had the strength to complete a 21-day fast. The young pastor started the fast but on day 14, he caved and ate a hamburger. In the eyes of the young pastor, he had failed and he felt defeated. However, to Pastor Franklin, he had done his best. When the young pastor informed Pastor Franklin of the hamburger he ate, his response was one of the love. He said “you did your best.”
I love Pastor Franklin’s response because it illustrates how God sees us. Fasting is no different from any other thing we do to honor God. If we make a goal to stop gossiping, and we end up gossiping about someone one day, we wouldn’t say “awww man, guess I’ll just be a gossiper for life.” No, we would acknowledge our weakness and try not to gossip again. We would have confidence that God accepts us in our weakness, and we would continue in our efforts to live for Him. The same principle applies to fasting. The Word of God says “a righteous man falls seven times and rises again” (Prov. 24:16). He gets back up because He knows there is no defeat or failure with God. He gets back up and he tries again because He knows that God is a loving and a forgiving God.
If you are fasting today and you have succomb to a hamburger, pop (also called “soda”), or any other food that is not on your fast, I encourage you to call yourself righteous and get back up again. In your eyes, you may feel like a failure but in God’s eyes “you are doing your best.” His love for you has not decreased and His approval of you has not changed. He still loves you with the same everlasting love.
We think times of weakness are a time to feel sorrow. However, God knows that times of weakness are the best times to rejoice because it shows the enemy that God is still in control. The enemy of defeat and failure is counting on you to stay down and feel like a failure–but not God. God sees you as a victor, a champion and an overcomer. No matter how many times you fall in life, always know that it is possible to get back up and try again.
There’s nothing in the world that you can do to remove God’s grace from your life. If you’ve struggled to accept forgiveness for past mistakes and failures, make today the day of change. Each day, challenge yourself to accept God’s forgiveness for one thing that you’ve been holding onto.
In all that you do, always remember what God says “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” (Jer. 31:3).
When you fall, get back up. You are not a failure, you are the forgiven.