[One aspect of modern-day slavery that I’m studying this semester is how the slave trade and abolition movement throughout history shape how we view slavery today. This week, I’m reading Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas. It’s blowing me away.] William Wilberforce was a hero, a man who knew about hard work and perseverance. And if anyone has ever had a reason to give up, it was him. He spent years fighting slavery and many other social problems and faced a lot of opposition along the way. But he couldn’t give up, because it wasn’t just an issue he was fighting against. It was people, beautiful people made in the image of God, who he was fighting for.
He believed that when Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, He meant it. But for Wilberforce, that didn’t make it easy. It meant devoting his entire life to others, putting his gain behind theirs. As he was struggling through setbacks, he received this letter from John Wesley:
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 be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.
(Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas, pp 144)
It was a truth that kept him going through the hardest days, weeks, and months: if God is for us, who can be against us? And if those things were true when eighteenth and nineteenth century abolitionists were fighting the evils of slavery, then surely they’re true for us today.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. –Galatians 6:9
Let’s fight the good fight until it’s finished, knowing that if He is for us, no one can be against us.