Read: Hebrews 10:19-25

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (v. 23)

About this time during the Lenten journey, almost anyone who’s chosen a particular fast needs extra encouragement. Whatever you gave up calls to you every day, starving for your attention and affection. The fast can expose our hearts just like the law could, and one of many temptations is to make it obvious just how tough our sacrifice is. Jesus urged those who fasted to keep it a secret between them and God: cleaning up, putting on fresh clothes, and refusing the temptation to draw attention to our offering. The fast is wasted if our desire has to do with accolades from those around us. But the promise—oh, the promise of Jesus if we resist temptation—our Father who sees in secret will reward (Matt. 6:18).

The writer of Hebrews urges us to find encouragement in community. Even though your fast is secret, take time today to read a favorite Christian writer, or gather with like-minded friends. Hold fast for your reward; but if you fail, hold fast to the confession of our hope: God, who has promised, is faithful. Fasting is about what we can do for God; redemption is about what he is doing for us. —Amy Clemens

Prayer: God, I start out with firm conviction but sometimes roll to a stop with flat tires and flat ambition. The fast is private and difficult, but send me a voice of encouragement, and help me be the voice of encouragement to others.