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In hard times we actually need to create more space to nurture a love for Jesus’ appearing, space to recognize our pain and longing rather than numb or ignore it. Fasting connects us with that hope in such a way that the Holy Spirit gives us joy, peace, and rest in the presence of God now.
I see the Sabbath as practicing for eternity. The weekly cycle of work and rest is a microcosm of this life preparing for our final rest with God. You work and work and work throughout the week, then you make preparations to rest.
Jesus’ return will purify your heart when your expectation boils down to one thing: abiding in him. When dwelling in his presence is your supreme desire, then you can have confidence, when he returns, that you have spent your life on what matters most.
For the apostle Paul, anticipating the coming of Jesus—that moment he would see his Savior face to face—wonderfully concentrated his mind for decades. Nowhere is this impact more pronounced than in his work of making disciples of Jesus Christ.