After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” –Mark 1:14-15

The reason fasting is so difficult is because it confronts you with the continual need to find the motivation to go on. Motivation is required for any action that grates against your normal course of actions. We can typically find the unction to break with the norm for a moment, for an hour, for a day . . . but it is exceedingly difficult to break with your normal pattern of activities for a protracted period of time.

Many people who set out to fast for extended periods of time find themselves failing and failing and failing again and again and again. And then they feel like failures. Why can’t I do it? Why can’t I stick with it?

You’re having trouble doing it because you’re having trouble holding onto the motivation necessary to keep going.

So how do we find the motivation we need to keep moving forward? The first answer to that question is that you must rid yourself of motivation drainers.

The primary drainers of your motivation are shame and discouragement. Motivation is impossible in the presence of shame. Shame causes motivation to hide its face, and discouragement causes motivation to feel like a failure. The only way forward (and this applies to any area in which you lack the motivation to press on) is to shake off shame like an old garment, to banish discouragement like a vile criminal, and to put on the garments of boldness and encouragement.

Yesterday is under the blood of Jesus! You can’t fix it! You can’t change it! But you have today!

Your failures are behind you, your problems are beneath you, your future is before you, and your God is above you!

I don’t care how far or how hard you’ve fallen during this fast; you can get up right now, arise in faith and move forward with God!

It’s not enough to repent; you’ve got to believe the gospel. I see a lot of people repenting, but very few believing. I see a lot of Christians confessing that they’ve fallen, but very few believing that they are forgiven and delivered!

Believe. We don’t have a choice any more. There is no option: we must believe! This is the word that God gave Pastor Sunhee during her all night prayer session last Friday. And we would do well to cling to it in the days to come.