Daily Reflections

Reasons to Fast

January 22, 2022 Erin Davis

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” —Joel 2:12

Fasting is a theme throughout all of Scripture. While it’s never commanded for all believers, the Bible does give lots of good reasons to fast, including:

• Fasting before making an important decision (Acts 13:2; 14:23).
• Fasting for God’s intervention (2 Sam. 12:15–17).
• Fasting to show humility (Psalm 35:13).
• Fasting in response to grief or mourning (Psalm 35:14; Est. 4:3).
• Fasting to request God’s protection (Est. 4:15–16; Ezra 8:21–23).
• Fasting with repentance (Joel 2:12–15).

It may be a temptation while fasting to convince yourself that God will be highly pleased with your fast. The truth is God is already pleased with you (Rom. 8:1). He accepts you, not because of anything you do or don’t do but because He created you and He ransomed you through His sacrifice. Because of this, fasting isn’t a gift we give to God but a gift He gives to us. Ultimately, we fast under grace not under the law. It’s not about rules; it’s about our relationship with God.

Make it Personal

Have you ever fasted? Why or why not? Ask God to show you if fasting is a spiritual discipline that you should pursue.