Self-denial doesn't exactly sound like a fun day at the park, especially when we talk about fasting. No one likes to be hungry, especially by choice. Well, believe it or not, fasting is a spiritual practice that helps us grow the character of Jesus. When we fast, it reminds us that we are ultimately dependent on God, and not ourselves or anything we eat, to sustain us. Likewise, it brings us into his presence as we remember he is all we really need.
Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline guides us through the main spiritual practices God uses to shape us, including fasting. He offers a perspective that reveals that, while hunger can be inconvenient or cumbersome, fasting is actually a joy practice. We discover something better than the instant gratification we so often seek. We recommend Foster's entire book, but especially chapter four, on fasting.