A few of my colleagues here at Compassion Australia decided to give up coffee this month. Why? We are all participating in a month-long campaign called FAST for FOOD.
If you drink at least a cup of coffee a day, the thought of fasting from coffee is probably pretty painful. But we weighed up the facts:
- Firstly, it’s something they could live without . . . albeit sacrificially. For the first week of the fast, they had massive headaches and their bodies screamed for coffee 24-7. I felt their pain.
- Secondly, a cup of coffee costs more than what some of the materially poor earn in an entire day. So the money we save as a part of the fast is then donated towards the Global Food Crisis fund.
We’re almost three weeks into the campaign and my colleagues have honored their commitment — not a single drop of coffee. They’ve also resigned themselves to the fact that it is still a luxury they would like to enjoy after FAST for FOOD.
Still, I respect their choice to wean from something that’s become a part of their daily lives, and that they choose to hunger for God when their bodies beg for caffeine. Although, I’ve found that the reward of abiding in Him is truly incredible. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” — Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
The Message phrases “hunger and thirst for righteousness” as to “[work] up a good appetite for God.” Clearly, our appetite for God doesn’t develop in the same way that our body naturally hungers and thirsts for food and drink. We need to make the decision to work it up.
The Amplified Bible defines righteousness as “uprightness and right standing with God.” Therefore, righteousness is a position where we know we are right with God. He promises to bless us if we seek to be right with Him in whatever circumstance we’re in.
Not only this, if we choose to focus on who He is rather than our circumstances, we would be “filled” (NIV). In other words we would be “blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous” (AMP<).
No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, the principle to becoming "filled" remains the same. Like Apostle Paul, we could be content whether we live in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12). But it is by choosing to seek a person rather than a thing that we learn contentment. Surely, when we’re filled with Him we’d be in a better place to give and bless those suffering in the Global Food Crisis, just as He fills us.
Ah, the joy of simple faith.