Friday, March 23, 2007

The power of persistence

Recently I saw the movie "Amazing Grace",the story of William Wilberforce.  He led a lifelong effort to banish the slave trade, and slavery itself, from Great Britain.  He began the campaign as a young man who was part of the British aristocracy but who had become a Christian.  Once the Lord became central to his heart he found a fresh love for God's creation and he sensed a calling to use his social position to become a member of Parliament at age 21 and stand against the evil of slavery.  He introduced bills to ban the slave trade every year for 20 years (1785-1806) and campaigned tirelessly across the country for this cause.  Finally, his results were rewarded and the trade banned by law.  He spent the balance of his life working just as hard to end the actual practice of slavery in the British Empire and he died at age 73 one month before the Slavery Abolition Act was passed in 1833.  It's interesting that just because one has a just cause, that does not mean that cause will quickly prevail.  And there are no guarantees that living in a free and democratic land will create conditions that embrace good over evil or right over wrong.  It took all of Wilberforce's adult life, all of his energy, and all of his focus and I am convinced that he could not have endured without the sure call of the Lord.  A righteous cause calls for persistence and absolute dedication.  I wonder if one or more among us might not be inspired to stand for the unborn children with similar resolve in our land, today.
Luke 18: 1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
If we never feel the heat of opposition, can we be sure we're in the battle?

blessings (with a challenge),
Rob Smith

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