I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp, pt 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my experience in reading this wonderful memoir of one of my favorite Christian artists of all time.

Rare longer than usual post alert…

There probably could have been a number of ways to break this into two parts or even have gone so far as break into thirds. I thought that maybe even starting this a chapter or so ahead of where I did, but anyway… Let’s get into it 😀

Do you remember part one? how would you be handling losing your spouse so soon? have you experienced something similar? how did you cope with it then? are you going through that now? i hope that jeremy’s story helps your coping and healing process, in any circumstance you may be going through.

…but because I had believed He would heal Melissa and He didn’t do so the way I believed He would my trust in Him was hindered.

page 116, Chapter 12, Jeremy Camp

This would be a natural response to what Jeremy went through with Melissa. As believers, we KNOW God has the power to heal someone, it happens, we have testimonies and we have His word. Just because there’s power doesn’t mean He’ll always use it. He has a plan.

I wanted my Dad’s stage 4 cancer to go away. I prayed and prayed. I wanted him to be here for so much longer than he was. I miss him everyday. Why didn’t God heal Dad when He could?

Have you had your trust in God tested? Is your trust being tested in the midst of our current isolation?

Imagine a tire with all its air leaked out. It’s still a tire, but without air it’s useless. I felt like that tire.

page 116, Chapter 12, Jeremy Camp

Not really related interjection here: Jeremy’s comparison to a tire reminds me of the pew warmers. Do you know what I’m talking about? The ones who show up to every Sunday service, claim a faith but never bare the fruit? If we truly have the power and the light, it has no choice but to spill out and show itself – God’s power cannot be contained.

That being said, we all have those days where we feel drained and sometimes just completely useless. We can still be a believer, we can still do the things, we can still make it by. Most importantly, on days like that, we still have our God, we still have the Holy Spirit and we still have Jesus.

Have you felt drained like that before? If you’ve felt drained lately, think of ways to fill yourself back up – a place to start would be in His word. His word is there to fill us up, give us an armor, take encouragement and not feel so alone – we literally have jesus 24/7, the one who suffered, overcame, rose again. let’s get filled with the holy spirit again.

After resisting God’s urging for perhaps half an hour, I picked up my guitar. Ten minutes later, “I Still Believe” was completed.

There was no thought of, This is going to be a big hit song. The purpose of that song was so I could be ministered to, and all I’ve done in the years since is share it with others.

page 116, Chapter 12, Jeremy Camp

Obedience to God can result in dramatic change, even though in my case it wasn’t the most tender hearted obedience. Obedience opens our heart’s door to allow God to do the work His desires.

page 117, Chapter 12, Jeremy Camp

I think a lot of our obedience can be selfish, i.e. “I’ll do this, but I want this from you..” or “Well, I’ll be able to do this if I do this now..” We’re not blessed based on how much we do or what we can do to get that “blessing” in return. God’s blessings come straight from a loving heart. I believe our actions should be the same way. We are His children after all, right? I hope that our hearts are centered on His glory and bringing others to Him instead of inward to our wants and desires.

How can you practice obedience today to bring glory to God? Is God calling you to something?

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1

Have you ever thought of the story of Miriam in Exodus 14-15? I hadn’t until I read Jeremy’s story. I’ve read through Exodus before but I never stopped to think about this particularly.

…she missed out on the depths of how God could have used her.

“What she did, she really should have done earlier,” Jon explained. “Granted, I wasn’t there, but when they were all assembled before crossing the Red Sea, not knowing what to do, she could have been singing and praising the Lord on that side as well – not just afterward.”

page 123, Chapter 12, Jeremy Camp

God didn’t suddenly become good after they crossed the Red Sea.

page 124, Chapter 12, Jeremy Camp

How so convenient that this would pop up at a time like this! (I’ve had so many of these moments, like God is just sending them to remind me and us that He is still here, He hasn’t left us!) We can praise the Lord and sing to Him even through this current pandemic. By the grace of God and His allowance for us to advance technology in even recent years… we are able to livestream Sunday services across the nation. Church comes to us wherever we are. We are able to see our friends and family through FaceTime and similar outlets. Why wait until this is over, months down the road, to praise such a gracious Father?

Are you having trouble praising God in difficult circumstances?

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

Colossians 3:2
So easily I fall, so easily you reach your hand out,
Quickly will I drown, know the pulls of all my reason,
So easily will I feel, so easily will your peace surpass me,
Quickly will I trust in anything I think is worthy,
How many times you make the waves calm down,
So I won't be afraid now?

I saw you breaking my, breaking my fail,
What am I supposed to do?
I saw you breaking my, breaking my fall,
What am I suppose to do?

How precious are your thoughts?
And how many of them, you think about me,
Faithful are your ways,
I always feel your grace abound me,
Quickly will I call,
Quickly will you answer my cry,
Carefully will you bring, everything I need in my life,
How many times you make the waves calm down,
So I won't be afraid now?

~Breaking My Fall by Jeremy Camp

…the importance of remembering when we go through frustrating times that God might be at work and how He can turn negative situations into testimonies for His glory.

page 158, Chapter 15, Jeremy Camp

Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Isaiah 35:10

Our love can’t be perfect, but God’s love can’t be anything but perfect.

page 171, Chapter 16, Jeremy Camp

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

1 John 4:18

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

…suffering is an opportunity.

We have no option but to go through it. We did, however, have the option of how we responded. It was difficult, but we both chose to get up and walk to the foot of the cross.

page 174, Chapter 16, Jeremy Camp
Do you see suffering as an opportunity? Ask God to expose an opportunity to you in your current suffering.

When we are more deeply aware of God’s presence, we become more aware of additional ways through which He can speak to us.

page 181, Chapter 17, Jeremy Camp

We want control, but God wants our hearts. His Word makes that clear.

page 183, Chapter 17, Jeremy Camp

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Matthew 6:33

Any power/control we think we have is just an illusion. When have you ever had control over a situation or outcome? Sometimes we think we do but it gets complicated when you break it completely down. God’s hand is working in every detail of what we think we can control.

…well-known songs and awards lead to a larger platform. God has placed songs on my heart and given me a testimony for a purpose: to share them with others who need hope and encouragement. Why wouldn’t I want to do what is necessary to be able to share them with more people?

page 187, Chapter 18, Jeremy Camp

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

2 Corinthians 1:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

Revelation 21:4

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

Romans 8:18
I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place,
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you're walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you've walked out all alone

Trouble soul don't lose your heart
'Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that's in store
Outweighs the hurt of life's sting

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
There will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I can't wait until that day where the very one
I've lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I've faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery, this is why, this is why I sing

There will be a day with no more fears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place,
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face

~There Will Be a Day by Jeremy Camp

Jeremy encountered a life changing experience. It was his obedience that made that happen. Was he afraid? Yeah, anyone would be. In those times, we have to put that fear aside and do what we know is right and make sure that what God wants is bigger than that fear. Even if that’s the truth (it is), we have to set our minds that way each time ~ we’re human and our fears get the better of us. Speaking from experience, of course.

…when I run toward what God calls me to do, instead of running away, He’s big enough to protect me regardless of what is going on around me.

page 208, Chapter 19, Jeremy Camp

“Same Power” was birthed from his life changing experience:

I can see
Waters raging at my feet
I can feel
The breath of those surrounding me
I can hear
The sound of nations rising up
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

I can walk
Down this dark and painful road
I can face
Every fear of the unknown
I can hear
All God's children singing out
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

We have hope
That His promises are true
In His strength
There is nothing we can't do
Yes, we know
There are greater things in store
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

~Same Power by Jeremy Camp
Will you take these lyrics to heart and know that the same power… lives in you as a believer? we will not be overcome. we will overcome our obstacles. he lives in us.

The Spirit of God, who raise Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Romans 8:11

Although we would prefer an immediate rescue from our problems, I think God sometimes chooses to take us through a longer process because He has lessons for us to learn as we climb out of our holes.

page 217, Chapter 20, Jeremy Camp
Jeremy defines worship as “anything we do that glorifies the Lord. How are you WORSHIPING these days?

Everyone is different. We all deal with our circumstances differently. But we have a God who dealt with us on an individual level.

page 238, Chapter 22, Jeremy Camp

God is worthy of your praise at all times. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to glorify Him in the midst of uncertainty. Your circumstances might be bad, but God is always good.

page 238, Chapter 22, Jeremy Camp

Something I’ve enjoyed reading his life story is the background and how he came to write each of the selected songs. It brings another layer to the song to know where he was at that time and how so many of us can relate to it as well.

What I’ve really enjoyed is the need to hear many of the aspects that were here. We’re going through such a strange time and my anxiety, personally, is just all over the place. I’d really like this to go away quickly, but I know that God has His hand in this, He has His arms around each of us and we are going to get through this.

None of it was about me; it was all about God.

page 165, Chapter 15, Jeremy Camp

Thank you for reading a rare long post by yours truly.

Stay well. Stay safe. Stay with God.

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