In the World–August 2, 2020

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Minneapolis-area restaurant owners Brian and Sarah Ingram had to shut down their restaurants and send all their workers home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with this hardship, they pivoted and innovated out of love. They teamed with fellow restaurateur Justin Sutherland and began offering free meals outside to any who had need. “At one point,” said a chef working for the group, “we were making almost 500 meals a day to send to hospitals.” In addition to the food, they offered prayer cards and the freedom to send personal requests via e-mail or text. Requests and needs flooded in, as did support and food from the community. Business is booming, but this new way of working came about because of hardship.


James wrote to encourage believers who were undergoing great hardship and trial. He urged them not only not to panic, but to actually consider the calamity as an opportunity for joy. He saw the testing of their faith as the chisel with which God wanted to carve perseverance into them. To be able to pivot in our attitude, not seeking to end the pain as soon as possible but to allow it to complete its good work in us, is the height of wisdom.

  1. What other example can you give of believers serving their community in new ways because of the pandemic?
  2. When has a negative development caused you to find a positive innovation?
  3. Why does God ask us to consider difficulties and trials as opportunities to rejoice?

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