The reality we face, barring a last-minute Hail Mary, is that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the forty-fifth President of the United States.
And my fellow Americans are up in arms.
The establishment is threatening a forced takeover, riots are breaking out across our country, and evangelical Christians are taunting it as the beginning of Armageddon. Even earlier this week, I saw two different individuals refer to our soon-to-be President(s) as the devil.
Within the incessant hum of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, I have to pause, quiet the noise and ask myself, “Is this really happening?”
Yes, yes it is.
I’ll be honest, as a father to four kids under the age of five, I have great concern for the world that my children will grow up in. And with every word I read, within every headline and every comment, fear threatens to take over my mind.
Of all the things this political season has revealed, none are as poignant as our collective proclivity to fear.
America is afraid.
But despite what I see, the one thing I constantly remind myself is the one thing I want to share with you today: don’t be afraid.
The Truth About Fear
At thirty-two years old, I was diagnosed with cancer. I stared fear in the eyes and faced my own mortality in a way that I had never considered. Up to that point, I was self-sufficient, self-assured, and self-confident. But that experience broke me. It humbly reminded me that I wasn’t in control.
As I’ve begun picking up the fragments, I’ve come to realize that I needed that diagnosis. My run-in with cancer provoked me to wrestle with the truth about fear.
Regardless if it’s a cancer diagnosis or our current political season, fear is the same. It’s the lying coward that hides in the corner. It’s not brave enough to actually do anything. Its sole purpose is to intimidate us—to keep us paralyzed.
And that’s why we have to face it.
Fear is a veil that we have to pierce. It’s the place that really scares us—the place that makes us uncomfortable. When we’re willing to go there, to step through our fear, it enables us to see—the clouded glass becomes clear. Until then, we’ll never be free from fear.
I think that’s what the Bible means when it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When we’re willing to humble ourselves before God, refusing to be afraid of anything else, we begin to understand what is true.
Of course popular culture says that we can’t quote the Bible and that it’s relevance has waned. But again, that’s fear talking.
The devil laughs. Fear is his playground.
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton—they aren’t the devil. The devil is the hatred that we feel towards them. The devil is the part of us that is afraid of them becoming our next President.
As long as we refuse to recognize this truth and step into our fear, we will never be free.
But curiously, if you’re willing to step into the dark, if you’re willing to take God at His word, then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Living By Faith
I think we forget that truth and belief are exclusive. One doesn’t require the other. You can believe something without it actually being true and the truth is the truth whether you believe it or not.
Too often, the opinions of others dictate what we believe to be true. But Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Now I’m not telling you what to believe, He is simply the truth that I have discovered. You have to make a decision for yourself. Who are you going to believe?
You see, fear and faith both work in the realm of belief. One causes what we see to influence what we believe and the other causes what we believe to influence what we see. Every moment, we can choose to live by faith, or we can choose to live by fear.
When we learn to trust in what we do not see, we believe in spite of seeing. Then, and only then, will we become, as Jesus said, “Blessed.” That is living by faith. That is trusting that He is the truth.
And that’s why our faith is tested in the midst of adversity. It’s when the world is up in arms—when the faith of many has faded—that the faith of the few will rise. That’s the moments when heroes come forth. When the masses let fear keep them from doing the work that must be done, the resilient in spirit, who put on the armor of God, will face the giant.
And the giant will fall.
If you find yourself afraid today, I want you to know that you’re living captive to something that you have already been freed from. The prison door is open.
If you’re afraid of who might become our next President, go to that place. In that place, you will encounter the truth. You will find that your own desires fail you. That you’re incapable of control. And in that place, you will meet the Father who is above all things and in all things—who is the head of all rule and authority.
He says, “This isn’t a battle you have to fight alone. I am with you. Never again shall you fear evil.”
Only when you reposition your fear to Him will you gain wisdom and learn to live by faith.
And that is freedom.
About the Author:
Matt Ham is a speaker, author, radio show host, and small business owner based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He writes on his blog at www.mattham.com as a way to help people shift their perspective on personal and social challenges.
His first book, Redefine Rich, is a story of reconciling our longing for richness to include a much deeper, well-rounded life. Matt speaks to both religious groups and corporations about his RICH Principles and how they can help reframe our pursuit of a well-lived life. To inquire about speaking availability, click here.
Matt and his wife, Liz, have three sons, Matthew, Wyatt, and Greyson, and a daughter, Sara James.
To learn more, you can sign up for Matt’s monthly publication, The Whole Life Newsletter, below: