Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children… NKJV
Solomon wrote that a good man will leave his children, and his children’s children an inheritance. Some may read this and feel as if they are obviously not good enough because they have nothing to leave their family. Well, here’s some good news for you! If you leave them a heritage of faith, you leave them so much more than money!
When our ancestors were in slavery, they had it pretty bad. Some believe that when the slaves were brought to America, it was a good thing because they found Christ. Others believe that some were brought here knowing Him already. I believe they are both probably true. I don’t think God needed slavery and all the harsh things slaves endured to get Black people introduced to the wonders of His love. But He is a God that wastes nothing! And through the harshness of slavery, faith was anchored where hope was trying to be destroyed. A people who had no voice, learned to pray to the God who heard their cry. Songs of despair gave way to songs of faith! And the rest as they say, is history!
Many slaves learned to have a deep, abiding faith in the Lord. Harriet Tubman, SoJourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, and others speak of their intense love for God. They speak of His leading them, of His comfort, of His love. These great men and women, who acquired their freedom, also acquired a rich heritage of faith that helped them to accomplish greater things than they had even imagined. This faith was passed on to the next generation.
Faith that inspired men like George Washington Carver, who spoke of his quiet time with the Lord being the place where his many creations were downloaded to him by the Spirit of God. Faith that inspired a Black man to start a college for the sole purpose of educating black people. Faith that caused Black people to see themselves as something other than laborers for someone else’s benefit.
Dreaming the impossible dream, led to Blacks like Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughn who became scientists in NASA; who may have been hidden, but who couldn’t stay hidden. Whether it was their faith, or the faith of their parents, faith moved the barriers of racism for them to go to another level in a world that was previously closed to Black people.
In the Civil Rights movement, faith was prevalent in the lives of those who were at the forefront of activism. In neither slavery, nor the civil rights movement, were Black people alone in their journey. God used many people who were white to assist and propel their causes to the forefront of humanity. So I understand that! But as Black people, those in the movement relied heavily on their faith!
The Black church was a symbol of freedom, a podium of hope for a brighter day. As men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood and preached God’s word about the kingdom of God, a desire and a strong faith was birthed to possess the kingdom, on earth! Many believed in the need for social justice, and they faced governmental authorities, mobs, and violence in their quest. But their trust, their great strength, their unyielding passion came out of their relationship with the God who created the ends of the earth!
I was born into such a family. A family with great financial struggles, but deep ties to the things of God. We were a family that went to church without fail. We were taught to pray. We were encouraged to trust God. And today, many of us still embrace our faith-filled heritage as we sojourn through this world!
Today, as I blog, I am grateful for the inheritance of faith that has come down to me through our people, through my family. Nothing could hold us back, and nothing could hold us down, once we came to know Jesus! Today we are doing amazing things. I have seen God take our people from segregated schools to running the schools, the cities, the states, and the nation! Look at God!
Not only that! I have seen God use Blacks in spreading the gospel of the kingdom. From William Seymour at Azusa Street to the many men and women of God who are yet preaching the gospel from the pulpit, our heritage continues. Faith and love are key to breaking down the walls that yet divide us, but those walls will not stop us! We will continue to trust God to do what only He can do in us and through us, for His glory!
My parents left this world early, and I wasn’t a recipient of anything material either. But they taught me about Jesus! I learned to pray and trust God. I learned to open my mouth and give Him praise. In teaching me about Jesus they gave me a hope and a future. I am so thankful that I tapped into my heritage of faith! I married a man whose family is also tapped into their heritage of faith! As I see siblings, in-laws, our children, nieces and nephews, and other family members serve the Lord, I know they will continue enjoying the blessings of our faith filled heritage and will pass it on! Why? Because they have been given a legacy of faith, that shouts loudly, with God, all things are possible! Wonderful Jesus!