FAITH: The Only Thing That Can Bring REAL Change to Appalachia
Written by: Miss Alesha A. Brittain
A lot of controversy has been brought about in reference to the preachers in our area encouraging Christians to demonstrate faith when making decisions that affect our community and daily lives. There are a handful of folks that feel that this is an invalid response to the issues we face in Bell County. However, I feel as though that assumption could not be more incorrect. Letís examine some words that can define the word Faith.
Confidence. Faith is all about confidence that Our God can handle ANY situation big or small. We are sometimes thought of as being too dependant on God from outside individuals who do not understand what faith really is, however, we must seek God in the little things as well as the big things. Thatís exactly what He wants us to do. We cannot, as Christians, do anything without involving God. Oh of course we can attempt, but without Praying and asking for Godís will, we are choosing to make a decision with a brain that cannot comprehend what we really need in this life. God is omniscient which means He is all knowing. Why wouldnít we take every need to Him who knows the future? To me that would be a terrible decision in itself!
Trust. Do we have at least one person in the world that we can honestly say we trust? Is there someone we can share our innermost thoughts with and know that they will not share them with the world? Is there someone that if needed can pick us up and dust us off when we are at our lowest? Most of us have at least one person to fit this category. Now think about that person. No matter how great of a friend or parent or whatever their relationship status to you is, they will never be as trustworthy as Our Heavenly Father. Who else do you know that can take a murderer with various peopleís blood on his hands, Save him, and give him the same status that some of us who have been Saved at an early age have, an heir to Godís kingdom?
Assurance. What does it mean to have assurance? To me it means that you have a guarantee that no matter what life brings, you are going to be ok. It has been mentioned that God wants His people to be rich. Is that really a true statement? My answer is YES! But we must define the word rich. Does rich mean that we are rolling in the money? Does it mean that we have luxury cars and mansions for homes? It can mean that. But think about it. What is more important in the scheme of things? I am rich. Yes, I am a 3 year veteran school teacher who is adding up student loans while working on my masterís degree. Yes, I have bills just like everyone else. Do I have tons of money that I can just spend without worry? No. I am rich in the fact that I live in an area that keeps its focus on Jesus. I am rich in the fact that my students see Jesus in me, even though I canít teach Him in my classroom. I am rich because I was raised in a country church and God has kept me all these years and blessed me with an awesome family, wonderful career opportunities, a comfortable living status, an AMAZING church, and most importantly His guidance every day. I am rich in the assurance that God will take care of me no matter what. So yes, Appalachia is not the wealthiest area when viewing the monetary status, but we have riches that are worth so much more in our beliefs and teachings that so many monetarily rich areas do not have.
There has also been mention of repetitive failures in Appalachia resulting from bad decision making. I wonder if the people that made these bad decisions, asked for Godís will in them before making them. It isnít enough to just say I am asking in Godís will. No, in order to ask for Godís guidance we must really mean what we ask in His name. Am I saying that we should Pray about it and then just forget it? No. We have to do our part as well, but God makes a way for those who ask in His name and He will provide us with opportunities and help along the way.
As for folks running for public office and standing for Biblical fundamentals such as anti-abortion and pro- Ten Commandments, you better believe Iíd cast my vote for them. Is it silly for them to take a stand on an issue that only the Supreme Court can rule on? Definitely not! If we teach our young people in this area that one person cannot make a difference, then we are defeating them before they even get started. Yes sometimes the odds seem to be against us, but that should only make us more determined. If we donít stand for something, we definitely will fall for anything. Case in point, I am writing this article right at this moment because I know God has placed it on my heart to do so. You may think what difference can she make? I am just a 23 year old woman here in Bell County. But lo the grace my Father has bestowed upon me. I know I am here for a reason and I know that if I am doing Godís will I can make a difference. Take a look at David. He was just a young adolescent when he went to battle Goliath. I am sure people thought he was insane and they probably laughed at him. But glory be to God, he killed the giant, even though he was much bigger than he. His decision to fight him was made in Godís will. The same faith that saved us is the same faith that we must have to make good decisions in our lives.
Of all the words that I have said, none can speak more truly than the words of Jesus Himself, ďAnd Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.Ē Ė Matthew 17:20 People of Appalachia, remember those words: WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!