Today everyone is looking for a benefit. If you want to begin any sort of program, you investigate it fully so that you can see the benefits. Would the program make you stronger? Would you earn more money? If there is no visible benefit then there is no value. Thank God, He provides benefits when we make time to spend in His presence.
Spending time with God during Lent reaps benefits. First there are benefits to fasting. When you fast you gain health benefits and spiritual benefits. Fasting draws you closer to God. When you give up food to spend time with Him, it brings closeness in your life. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” When you fast and spend time with God, you will receive answers to prayer. When the disciples went out, they had difficulty helping a man with his son. The man brought his son to Jesus and He brought deliverance to the man’s son. He told the disciples, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 19:21 NKJV
Prayer is the secret weapon in the life of people of faith. When you spend time with God in prayer, you see benefits in your life. When you pray, it eliminates worry from your life. Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” They only way to effectively eliminate worry is through prayer. Also, when you pray, God gives directions. 1 Peter 3:12 says, “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” A good father listens to his children, the heavenly Father listens when His children pray. David understood this, he said: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
Finally, when you give during Lent, you will reap benefits. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Do you realize that most people believe that when they give, they are saying goodbye to what they are giving. But think of it this way, when you give of your time, your resources or whatever you give, it’s not going away. It’s taking a journey, picking up some friends and returning to you bigger and better. The wise man Solomon said, “Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.” Ecclesiastes 11:1. Think about that for a moment. If you keep all your grain, you will consume all of it. But when you send it across the seas, it returns with a profit.
I had no idea that there was so much involved practicing the principles of Lent. Many times people like to throw the baby out with the bath water. These are just some of the basics that are involved in participating in Lent. The components are not new. They are practices that people of faith believe and do. This taught me to research the things that I don’t understand. Think of the many groups that are divided because of a lack of understanding. Further investigation might take you down a familiar path. Lent took me down a familiar path. I found fasting, prayer and giving: my familiar friends.