How do you respond when everything you believe is put to the test? Can you still believe when life doesn’t turn out like you thought it would, or when your faith doesn’t result in the healing you’d hoped and prayed for?
Friend, I think we’ve all struggled with these questions at some point in our lives. I know I sure have! So, if that’s where you are today, this episode of the 4:13 Podcast may be just the encouragement you need.
Dove Award-winning singer and songwriter Jeremy Camp and his equally talented wife Adrienne are with us. We recorded this conversation a few months ago when we were at the beginning of the pandemic, but I saved it for when I felt we most needed to hear it. And today is that day!
This conversation is sobering, wise, delightful, and inspiring. No matter what you’re walking through right now, you’re going to be so encouraged to sing the truth along with Jeremy that you can still believe!
3 Ways You Can Still Believe
- Ask God why, but don’t get stuck there. There’s nothing wrong with having moments of grief and asking God “why” questions. It’s okay to be real and honest with Him. Jeremy shares, “He’s a big God, He can handle those responses.” Even Jesus—who was sinless—asked, “Why?” On the cross, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). But it’s important that you don’t get stuck there. There needs to be a point where you relent and surrender. After Jesus asked for understanding, He surrendered (Matthew 27:50).
Even when we don’t understand, we can still choose to believe in God’s faithfulness and truth. [Click to Tweet]
Jeremy says David in the book of Psalms is another great example of asking why, but not getting stuck there. In David, you can see the transparency of being honest and understanding that God is faithful. Many times in the Psalms, David cries out to God and says things like, “God, why are my enemies prospering?” or “Why is this happening?” But there was always a point of surrender for him. It was here that David proclaimed things like, “But Your loving kindness endures forever.” You can see a specific example of David doing this in both Psalm 10 and Psalm 13.
- Choose to run to God with your pain. You and I live in a fallen world where hard things will and do happen. When they do, each of us has a choice: will we run to God or away from Him? Sometimes, as we run from our pain, we also run from God. But to truly experience healing, we need to run to Him. Adrienne says that when she and Jeremy lost their third baby through a miscarriage at 14 weeks, it was running to God that helped her. She would play worship songs and weep. As she did, she’d invite God into those deeply painful places in her heart.
If you’re grieving right now, you can do the same. Choose to run to God and invite Him into your pain. As Adrienne did, say to Him: “Lord, You are God, and I’m not. I don’t understand why you’ve allowed this to happen, but I’m going to trust You.” He’s capable of healing your broken places. Adrienne shares that when you go through hard things, there’s a depth that you’ll experience in your relationship with God that you won’t experience elsewhere. It really is true that “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18).
- Declare the truth even before you see or feel it. Jeremy wrote the song, “I Still Believe,” a few weeks after Melissa, his first wife, died from cancer. He says that when her cancer came back and after her death, he had to wrestle with his faith and trust God in uncertainty. He says that in his grief, he struggled with anger and confusion. He didn’t understand, yet he chose to still believe in God’s faithfulness and His truth even when He couldn’t see or feel it.
One thing that helped and continues to help Jeremy declare truth when things are uncertain is to identify what he calls “Ebenezers.” In the Old Testament, they’d have these stones of remembrance where they would go back and remember what God had done (for example, see Joshua 4:21-24). Jeremy says in his life, God has always been faithful, so he looks back and says, “You’ve always been faithful. So, you’re going to continue to be faithful—that’s who You are.” He reminds himself that “if we are faithless, He remains faithful” (2 Timothy 2:13). Today, take time to look back for Ebenezers in your life—times when God was faithful to you. Then, declare the truth that God is still faithful, even if you don’t see it or feel it yet.
4 Marriage Tips from Jeremy and Adrienne Camp
Jeremy and Adrienne have been married for sixteen years. They recently wrote a book on marriage called, In Unison: The Unfinished Story of Jeremy and Adrienne Camp. We talked a little bit about it, and here’s some of the wisdom they shared in our conversation.
- Aim to be on the same page. Adrienne says that in marriage, you’re both two different people. Being one isn’t necessarily about being the same, but about being on the same page. You both bring something different to your marriage—and you always will. So, as you work out your relationship, it doesn’t mean becoming identical, but about being in unity and honoring each other above yourself (Philippians 2:1-4). Doing this creates a oneness.
- Understand that only Jesus completes you. Many people go into marriage believing that their spouse will fulfill everything they need and desire. When that doesn’t happen, they’re disappointed and experience a lot of conflict as a couple. Jeremy says it’s because this idea that your spouse will complete you is simply not true. Only Jesus completes you. When you go into marriage with this understanding that Jesus is your everything, your spouse and your marriage benefit from it.
- Make God the core of your marriage. Adrienne shares, “I really don’t believe we can do marriage without God.” On your own, you and your spouse can’t love each other well, especially if you’re relying on chemistry to keep you together. When Jesus is the foundation of your marriage, and at its core, He helps you supernaturally love one another and remain committed when your chemistry wanes.
- Ask God to change you. Often in marriages, spouses pray for the other person to change. While it’s good to pray for your spouse’s heart, don’t wait for them to change before you’re willing to change your attitude or heart. Change starts with yourself and getting your own heart right before Jesus.
God is bigger than your mountain, my friend. Just take one step at a time, and
remember, whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Take Courage: A Study of Haggai
- God Is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
- Missing Pieces: Real Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
More from Jeremy and Adrienne Camp
- Visit Jeremy’s website
- I Still Believe DVD
- I Still Believe: A Memoir Book
- In Unison: The Unfinished Story of Jeremy and Adrienne Camp
- The Story’s Not Over CD by Jeremy Camp
- Just You and Me CD by Adie
- Follow Jeremy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Follow Adrienne on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- Can I Be Okay With Not Being Okay? With Sheila Walsh [Episode 43]
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian