[Editor’s note: The following article contains excerpts from a message titled “Fear, Faith and Truth,” delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on Sunday, June 2, 1996 at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, Illinois. We are facing so much during these trying times that is making us afraid, we encourage you to read these words of comfort and guidance as the message is just as relevant and timely today. To order this message in its entirety visit store.finalcall.com.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
Our subject today deals with three words which represent essentials that would allow us to live life successfully, the way God intended for human beings to live: Fear. Faith. Truth. These three words, if understood and acted upon properly, will give us a key to mastering every situation that life could pose.I want each of us to think about something in life that is troublesome to us. I want us to think about something in our own life that we need to overcome. I want us to think about something in our life that we desire, but as yet have not been able to attain it. Mastery of the principles underlying each of these three words will not only give you The Solution to that particular problem that you and I personally may have, but it gives you The Key to any problem you will ever face at any time in your life.
Fear: The Source of our insecurities
Is “fear” natural? If fear is a natural thing, then is it something that we must overcome? And if so, how? According to the dictionary, “fear” is a distressing emotion aroused by impending pain, danger, evil, whether that pain, danger or evil is real, or imagined. If you become afraid even of some imaginary thing that has not yet happened, the distressing emotion will still be present. “Fear” is the feeling, or the condition of being afraid. Fear restricts: Whatever we are afraid of, that which we fear makes us insecure; and whatever makes us afraid and insecure could cause us to bow. When we are afraid, fear causes us not to think properly. Fear causes us not to act properly. Fear makes you so insecure that you have a tendency to acquiesce, to submit, to surrender to the thing that you’re afraid of. And if you acquiesce, submit and surrender to what you are afraid of, then it becomes a god to you beside God! If God made man and woman in His Own Likeness, then can you imagine God being afraid? I mean, just think about God being afraid of a lion, or a bear! How could He be afraid of what He created? So if He is The Creator, and this is the creature, then He has Natural Mastery over it if He does not allow what He created to terrify Him. This is no “Frankenstein,” that the thing which is created can, now, terrify its creator. There is nothing in Creation that can make God afraid! Well, then if God is not afraid of anything that He created, and you and I are in His Image and in His Likeness, will you tell me please how we can justify being afraid of anything in Creation?
There is another kind of fear that has reverence to it, and that is the fear of God. Once when I was out in Arizona taking a month to fast and pray and discipline myself for a fight against cancer, I was listening to a tape by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He was saying that God did not make The Original Man, Black man, to be afraid of anything in His Creation. He only made you, and me, to fear Him. And it is The Fear of God, and God alone, that gives you Mastery over The Creation. But if you don’t know God, and won’t trust God and have faith in God, then things that make you afraid will become your master. God is worthy to be afraid of. You just have to believe and know that a God exists. The Bible teaches in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” So if the fear of God makes you a beginner, then what is wisdom? “Wisdom” is that which allows you mastery, and you cannot begin to become wise in life if you don’t learn the fear of God. And once you learn the fear of God, then nothing in creation becomes able to terrify you. Then you are in the Beginner’s Class of Mastery.
I want you to internalize this: Anytime we allow anything to make us afraid, and we refuse to challenge our fear of that thing, then we can never be that man, or that woman, that God intended us to be. Fear will not allow you to be yourself!
It is not that you won’t ever be made afraid, because there are some terrifying things in this world. But when you are afraid, that’s the Test of Faith! This is when you have to call on what you’ve got faith in! What am I saying to you? You’re going to be made afraid.
I don’t want you thinking that every time you’re made afraid that you will come out “all right,” because the other part of this is: Being “fearless” is not going to get you victory in every circumstance. This is where faith comes in.
Faith: Making the impossible, possible
“Faith” is confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. Study the prophets’ life examples: How they challenged Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and great armies (phalanx)—that’s beautiful, you know, when you read it in the Bible. But when you read it in the Bible, if it doesn’t give you courage in your time period, then reading it yesterday you might think that it can’t happen today! But God is able in every generation; and He will never let you down. He will never let you down if you put your trust in Him!
Now, some of us might have faith in our own strength; you have a lot of “macho” strength: “I go to the gym every day, I work out; I built my muscles, and so, nothing makes me afraid. I’ll rely on my strength.” But there are some things you can’t challenge with your strength. There are some things that only can be challenged with The Strength of God.
I’m saying this to all of us, and I’m sure you know it: The government of the United States cannot be challenged with your strength and mine. It can only be challenged with The Strength of God. There are forces in this world that you cannot challenge with your strength, and that’s why faith is absolutely necessary to overcome fear.
Dear beloved followers and believers of God: Without faith, you cannot achieve the impossible. But with faith there is nothing impossible. A lot of things are impossible without Him, but there is nothing impossible with Him! When you don’t have faith, real faith in God, you don’t even attempt things that people say are impossible. But when you have faith in God, you will try the impossible and find that it’s quite possible! So, “faith in God” is a Key to accomplishing anything in life that you desire.
Just as a baby on its mother’s breast for the first time does not know that milk is there, but will keep on pulling until some milk appears, that’s “faith.” Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.
Look at this Universe, and think of anything you want: Everything that you need to make life beneficial to you is already here! You don’t have to “create” anything. But the question is: How strong is your pull on the mammary gland called “The Universe,” because The Universe is a giant breast! I’m not being vulgar, but that’s exactly what it is! The baby can pull on the breast believing, hoping, something is going to be there, and that hope and that belief is rewarded because milk comes! And it won’t dry up as long as somebody’s pulling … Then we must do the same: You have to learn how to pull on this Universe to get the things out of life that The God Who created this, and you, promised.
What do you want? “Well, I want to pay my bills.” It’s done! But is that all you want? Oh, that’s “punk stuff”—you haven’t even begun to pick up on the heavy stuff if you can’t get by the “little stuff.” And the “little stuff” that is messing your head up is denied to you because you don’t have faith!
In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said if you had faith the grain of a mustard seed, you could say to the mountain: “Be removed,” and it would be so! Have you ever seen how small a “mustard seed” is? It is so tiny! Well, what kind of “mountain” do you have in your life that is troubling you, and you can’t move? “Well, I’ve got a lot of problems …”—Tell me something new! That’s what life is! “Life” is “problems”: If you don’t have a problem, you’re not alive! So where are you? When God brought you here He brought you here to give you a problem! And the solution to your problem is also here! But if you lack faith, you’ll walk around like a dog chasing your tail, you will never quite make it in life because you are a faithless individual!
That’s your problem: You’re afraid, and you don’t have faith, so you have to live by schemes; you always have to try and “trick” somebody! When they’re not looking, you take their wallet; you learn craft in stealing! You learn how to lie to manipulate silly people in order to take from them, while there is a Universe out here ready to give you its treasure. …
Brothers and sisters: Your real power is in trying to be right. Our people will love you if you are right, and are trying to be right! Because no matter how bad you are in your actions, you really are The Righteous. You don’t have to be afraid to be right. You should be terrified of being wrong.
Truth: The Right Foundation that sustains life
I want you to think about “Truth.” Allah says in the Qur’an that He created the heavens and the earth with truth. You are a creation of Truth. If God built all of this and sustains it with Truth, how can you sustain your life living a lie?
Brothers and sisters, when we want to look beautiful, we spend time in the mirror; we make sure our hair looks right, we smell right, we dress right, and then we come out to meet the people. You are so concerned about how you appear, but appearance is not what you are! The real you is on the inside of what you appear to be.
Now, the thing that I see going on, no matter your religion, is that some of us can learn the Wisdom, and we can articulate the Wisdom, but I don’t care how much we know: To sustain the Knowledge that you have requires you to have The Right Foundation. And the Right Foundation for the Sustenance of Life and Knowledge starts with Truth.
All of us lie too much. If I tell you a lie, I’m robbing you of the truth! And if you believe my lie, and act on a lie, then I’m murdering the spirit! So a liar is a thief, and a murderer! And no liar, no thief, no murderer can find a way in The Kingdom of God! It looks like our mouths are bent in a lie. … I have found that we’ve got a lot of people that can speak well, but they don’t have any “character.” So if you’re the type of person that is “knocked out” by good words, you’ll always be knocked out because there’s people that can give you good words all day long! But do they have character? Do they have integrity? A liar can have neither.
“Seek ye first The Kingdom of God …” “The Kingdom of God” is built on Truth. But we just lie, and lie and lie, and there’s no reason for it!
Who is anybody that you should lie to them? Who is there to lie to if God, already The All-Seeing, The All-Knowing, knows the truth? So whether you want good character or not, that’s on you! I mean, if there was something that I failed to do, and you asked me, “Did you do it?” I would have to tell you, “No, brother. I’m sorry.” You may be disappointed in me, but it is better that you be disappointed in me, than me be disappointed in myself for lying!
If you lie, it starts eating at The Foundation of Character, because all character is built on truth, honesty and integrity. This is what too few of us have. Every time you lie, it’s like taking a sledgehammer, knocking The Foundation out from under your Good. Every lie breaks you down. Every truth builds you up.
Why do you lie? “Because I’m insecure; I am afraid of consequences, and therefore I lack faith in God.” So you see, all three of those words, fear, faith and truth, are related.
So I’m challenging us today: Stop Telling Lies! Stop Living Lies! When you would tell a lie, just think for a moment, and try forcing yourself to speak the truth. Every time you speak the truth, you get stronger in the truth! But every time you lie, and you know you’re lying, you just weaken yourself, because The Truth supports the Universe! A lie supports nothing.
And don’t exaggerate, because the moment you add to the truth, you take away from the truth, turning it into a lie.
Every time you lie, you undercut your ability to be what only Truth can make you into.
I hope and I pray that God will make us fearless. Can God make you fearless? He said, “Those who believe and are the doers of good to others, there is no fear for them nor shall they grieve.” And I heard Elijah Muhammad say, “They could bring 10,000 outside my door. I will not be afraid.” Why won’t you be afraid, Elijah? “Because God is with me, and as long as God is with me, there is no army that can defeat me.”
You have to know that God is with you, and He will prove to you that He is with you! If you are with Him and with Truth, God will take little things, and begin building your confidence in Him. And after awhile, He’ll keep on building your confidence until you just become so trusting in Him, that you don’t think anything or anyone can harm you except it pleases God, because The Arm of The Lord has been revealed to you.
And brothers, sisters, I can tell you: It is a wonderful feeling to be able to know that you can put your trust in God.