By Lou Coleman-Yeboah
Now that the celebration of Black History Month is coming to a close; how can we honor our history, respond to the present, and build a viable, vibrant future for our people? I’ll tell you how…. We can honor their memory by rediscovering the “Faith” that allowed them to survive. The Faith, that enabled our forefathers to endure trials and hardships that we can only imagine. The Faith, that inspired leaders to respond courageously to the problems of our people. We can build on the legacy they have left us by carefully following the One they followed – Jesus. It is not too late! We can still return to the God of our fathers. For we have an extraordinarily rich spiritual heritage and there is victory in our bloodline. We belong to the family of God, and being engrafted into His family means that we are over-comers through the Blood of Jesus; the Blood of the Lamb, the Conquering Weapon.
Therefore, let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the pioneer and perfecta of our Faith. For it wasn’t by power nor by might, but by the Spirit of God—the wisdom, authority, power, and presence of the Most High God—that freedom, equality, and justice was and will continue to be. Let us learn from the stories of the great cloud of witnesses. “Though beaten, they were not beaten down by life because they looked to Christ. Though enslaved physically, they were not enslaved spiritually because they were free in Christ. For a people in bondage for 400 years— it is a sustaining and comforting reminder to know that God has not forgotten. “He has seen!” our afflictions, and heard our cries: every tear shed was preserved, and every groan uttered was being recorded, in order to testify at a future day, against the authors of the oppressors.”
Understand this truth…. God has chosen us for Greatness…. And there’s nobody, there’s nothing, and there is no circumstance, under the Sun that can keep God from doing exactly what He wants in us for His Glory! We have victory through Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior who lives and Reigns in our heart…. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” So, if God be for us, who can defeat us? If God be for us, who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? If God be for us, is there anything that we can’t do? If God be for us, is there anything our families can’t overcome? If God be for us, is there anything that the world can do to stop us? I hear our slave ancestors answering, “No!” I hear the civil right marchers, answering, “No!” Because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same Jesus who heard the songs of the slaves and the chants of the civil rights marchers will hear the prayers of those who now cry out for justice throughout our country. With God’s help, we shall overcome.
Oh, what an amazing future it is! Living moment by moment looking back with thankfulness on all that God has done for us, and looking forward at all God promises to do for us because of Christ. Let us rejoice in God’s great faithfulness consistently displayed through our great struggles and great strides. For empowered by God as they were, we can continue their work and likewise pass down legacies of strength, perseverance, faith, and victory to future generations. [Psalm145:41].
As it is written: “For our sake [they] were killed all day long; [they] were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in ALL THESE THINGS [they] were MORE than CONQUERORS through Him who loved us. They were persuaded that neither death nor Life, nor Angels nor Principalities nor Powers, nor things Present nor things to come, nor Height nor Depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate them from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:35-39].
Thanksgiving toward the Past, Faith toward the Future!