Many people worked tirelessly to end the scourge of slavery. William Wilberforce was among them. He toiled 45 years to end slavery in England and died just three days after the Slavery Abolition Act passed in 1833. Once in despair and reading the Bible, a small piece of paper fell out of his Bible. It was a portion of a letter to him from John Wesley that said, “Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God is for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of doing well. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of his might.” Wilberforce kept going and his perseverance paid off. Today in the United States, though chattel slavery has ended, many African Americans still yearn for equal justice after 400 years of struggle. Yet people of faith are encouraged by what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 7: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” African Americans and others of faith persevere in praying, seeking, working, and believing God will not disappoint even after 400 years.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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