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Slavery is illegal today in every country. Despite this, more slaves exist today than at any time in history. Estimates range from 28 to 200 million—chattel slaves, debt slaves, child slaves for sex, labor, and soldiers; and women slaves for marriage and prostitution. While the Bible says little about the institution of slavery, it says a lot about abuse, mistreatment, and exploitation. [In God’s wisdom, he at times tolerated unjust systems, but never endorsed them. In the end, He will judge those who abuse others. At the same time, He uses suffering to perfect His children’s character.] In 1 Peter Ch 2, Peter told the Christ-following slaves of his day, “God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment.” He used the example of Christ to explain that unjust suffering can be redemptive. He said, “God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges justly.” God wants us to help end slavery today as Douglass and Wilberforce did. At the same time, suffering believers can place their hope in the sovereign grace of God, confident that though wheels of justice may turn slowly, they grind exceedingly fine.

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