No doubt, we’re all tired of the phrase, “in these challenging times.” It’s okay to grow weary of the words, as long as we don’t grow weary in the work. Galatians 6:9 reminds us to, “not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” We’re living in a significant moment. There will never be a better opportunity for Christians to offer practical help and eternal hope.
The pandemic has created more families who cannot consistently afford adequate amounts of food. Consequently, the demand on food banks has increased since the pandemic began. Feeding America reports that nearly 40% of the increase are people who’ve never been to a food bank before. So, hunger is not just a problem in another part of the world; it’s here in our own communities.
Connect Physical Needs with Spiritual Needs
Many organizations are working to meet the rise in demand. What sets faith-based organizations apart is connecting physical needs with spiritual needs. One example local to BKM is Good Samaritan Food Ministry in Gainesville, Georgia. Assistant Director Ben Pigott points out, “Jesus began His ministry with meeting physical needs.” That’s why the Good Samaritan food bank helps over 97,000 people each year. And in 2020 they’re ministering to many for the first time. But their ultimate purpose is to share the love of Christ. As a result, they’ve seen 19 professions of faith in recent months.
The Georgia Baptist Mission Board recently emphasized food ministries across the state with Project Well-Fed. Lorna Bius is Mission Georgia Mobilizer for the GBMB. She says, “A lot of families, because of COVID-19, have been pushed further into poverty or are experiencing poverty for the first time. Churches have the opportunity to step into that need with the practical help of food, but also with the hope of the Gospel.” Although the month-long emphasis has ended, the need continues.
Put Faith into Action
The Bible speaks specifically about putting faith into action by helping those in need. It’s evidence of our faith (James 2:14-18) and of our love for Christ (1 John 3:17-18). Jesus even said that helping other believers is the same as helping Him (Matthew 25:35-40). So, not only is it our Christian responsibility to meet these needs, it’s our privilege.
If the pandemic has not affected you economically, what better way to express gratitude than by putting your faith into action? Ask God to show you ways to help the needy in your community. Many local Baptist associations already have a food ministry in place. The surge in demand means there’s a greater need for donations, as well as for volunteers.
People are in desperate need of hope these days. By connecting physical needs to spiritual needs, you can help others find eternal hope in Jesus. So, don’t grow weary. There’s still work to do!