Fasting is full of blessings for you and others.
I teach Sunday School at my church. We were making connections between commandments from God and blessings associated with those commandments. The first one we discussed was fasting. I immediately admitted to the students that I am not very good at this. I do want to be better at it though, so I was excited to learn more on the subject. We read the scripture, Isaiah 58:6-11 to understand the commandment and the blessings.
First, he asks questions about the fast
“to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”
“to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?”
“when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”
The answer: Yes, yes it is for these things.
Later in the verses, it says, Lift others burdens, don’t place blame, and be unselfish.
Now that we know what is expected of our fast, what blessings come if we are obedient?
The Blessings We Get When We Fast with Purpose
And if we will fast for these purposes, what are the blessings? When we read the blessings, I was blown away; I knew the blessings were real and that commandments are truly for “freedom, personal growth, protection from danger, and many other temporal and spiritual blessings.” Check out this video to understand this principle more clearly.
Here are the blessings from fasting:
- Your light will break forth as the morning
- Your health shall spring forth speedily
- Righteousness shall go before thee
- The glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
- When you call, the Lord will answer saying, Here I am.
- Your light will rise in obscurity and darkness will turn to noonday
- The Lord will be your guide continually
- Satisfy your soul in drought and make your bones fat
- You will be watered like a garden and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Wow! These are amazing blessings that I could use in my life right now. How about you?
Now is the time to commit to meaningful fasts that lift others, remove burdens, and focus our efforts to be better. For me, when I am having a meaningful fast, I begin with a prayer that centers the fast, then I don’t eat at least two consecutive meals and make a “fast offering” which is an amount of money my family contributes for the needs of the people in our area. The idea is that we use the money we would have spent on food, for the poor and needy. I have seen the fast work through times of trial in my life and in the life of others. Two times in particular come to mind.
I had just finished my first year in college and I knew that I shouldn’t go home between semesters. I was right to not go home because my family moved to a new state that summer. Although I was certain I should not go home, I was NOT certain about what I should do. I found a job and apartment for the summer and then I didn’t feel good about that either.
Eventually, I ended up living with my sister Adell in Logan, Utah. I did not have a job, but I felt confident I would find one quickly. Reality hit when I was two weeks into being in Logan with no leads on any jobs. I decided I would test the lessons I had learned in my youth–you can find answers and strength when you fast. I fasted 24 hours, prayed for guidance and specifically for a job to remove burdens off of my sister and myself, and attended a temple nearby. The next day I went into a local dry cleaner downtown and the owner hired me on the spot! It was not a glamorous job, nor was it a job I actually wanted or kept long, but the lesson was not lost on me. I knew that Heavenly Father was aware of me and he taught me that fasting is a powerful tool!
That last example was later in life, after Cody was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. During the days we were in the hospital, I asked family and friends to fast for Cody. Their fasting brought us peace, hope, health and perspective that we could not have received without their willingness to fast for us. Read more about this experience: Life Changing
Can you recall the times that a consecrated fast blessed you? If not, I hope you will give fasting a try.
I hope you will recognize the blessings God is eager to grant you when you obey his commandment to fast with purpose.