“I Still Believe”

Christian music artist Jeremy Camp’s walk in faith, plus my favorite songs from his discography

A while back, I wrote an album review on Christian singer/songwriter Riley Clemmons’s newest album “Church Pew” which was released in September. 

Christian music has been the soundtrack to my life for years. My dad and I still take drives to listen to our favorites together, just like we used to listen when I was younger, on the way to and from music lessons, tennis practice, or walking in the neighborhood.

I loved writing about Clemmons’s music and the impact of her new album, and because of this, I would love to introduce you all to my other favorite Christian artist this year: Jeremy Camp.

Camp’s music has been a huge part of my life since I was old enough to listen to music. I wanted to review my five favorite songs from his music library, but his backstory is important to get a better picture of where his music comes from.

Jeremy Camp grew up in a loving, Christian home in the Midwest. His parents became Christians as adults after living a life of alcohol and drugs. Jeremy’s father became a pastor and the Camp children grew up learning about Jesus, although Jeremy and his older sister, April, were caught up in alcohol and April used drugs during their teenage years. 

Jeremy accepted Jesus’s salvation before his junior year of high school and went on to go to Bible college in California, where he met Melissa Henning.

Their dating life was very on-off for the most part, but Camp was convinced that Melissa was the love of his life, even after she began experiencing serious health problems and was ultimately diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Camp prayed for her healing and, as an amateur musician, asked his audiences, both on the radio and in concert, to pray as well.

Melissa was declared cancer-free before their wedding.

The two married in October of 2000. While on their honeymoon, Melissa’s cancer returned. She died on February 5, 2001, less than four months after Jeremy and Melissa were married.

Camp lost his inspiration for writing music until God got ahold of him. God didn’t want his gift to go to waste, even in the midst of depression, anger, and endless prayers of “Why, God?” Camp continued to mourn his wife, but didn’t let his sorrow get in the way of God’s plan for him, no matter how shaken he felt. Several of his most prominent songs came from this darkest part of his life.

For those who want to learn more about his story and the story of Melissa, I highly recommend the book “I Still Believe.” There is also a movie of the same name. Without further delay, here are my six favorite Jeremy Camp songs.

6. “These Days”

I was going to make this a list of five, but when Camp dropped his latest single a few weeks ago, it just deserved a place here, thus its placement.

“These Days” is an upbeat, inspirational song that acknowledges the poor state of the world and the fact that the future looks bleak. We can all look back on history and think that maybe it would be nice to live in a simpler time (not that the past is any worse off than the present). 

The truth is, God placed us in this time for a reason. He doesn’t make mistakes. He knew from the beginning that the world would need a YOU here, today, in 2024. He didn’t create you for 24 AD or 1015 or 1776 or 1910. You were not made for the Roman Empire or the Middle Ages, nor the Industrial Revolution or World War Two. 

He made you for TODAY. This is the time He knew you would need to live in to make the biggest impact for Him. That puts everything into perspective, don’t you think?

Favorite lyrics: “God called us by name/ And He doesn’t make mistakes/ I know we were born to shine bright/ In a dark world that needed some light/ Don’t have to be afraid/ Maybe we were made/ For these days”

5. “There Will Be a Day”

This world is a mess and that’s no secret, and it’s not getting any better, either. Why keep our faith in a world and people who are imperfect and unreliable when we have Jesus? When we meet Jesus face to face, as Christians, we can be assured that all our troubles, all our fears and failures, every mistake, and every imperfection will fade away.

There is a day coming soon when Jesus will return to take His chosen home to live with Him forever. So, no matter how wrong this life goes and how many struggles the world throws in our faces, Christians have a hope to cling to: eternity with our Savior.

Favorite lyrics: It’s basically impossible for me to choose my favorite lyrics from this song, so please have a listen! Alas, because I won’t force you to read the whole song here, I’ll choose a few lines that definitely resonate.  

“Troubled 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”

4. “Christ In Me”

 The world does not offer lasting satisfaction. No matter how happy or successful you are, it doesn’t last because everyone dies at some point, and then there’s that infamous saying, “All good things must come to an end”. Jesus is everlasting, and if we accept His grace and free salvation, we are given eternal life with Him in heaven, where, as said in the previous song, there is no pain, suffering, or anything imperfect.

All we need is Christ.

Favorite lyrics: “So come and empty me/ So that it’s You I breathe/ I want my life to be only Christ in me”

3. “Getting Started”

We are all lost in sin. No one can save themselves. Our own efforts get us nowhere, and the longer we live without Jesus, the farther we fall.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

This song was written for one of his most recent albums, during a period of time when Camp was dealing with anxiety and uncertainty about where he was in life. We can all be anxious, stressed, far away from where we want to be, and far away from Jesus. No matter where we are or what we’ve done, Jesus can change that.

You can start over and let Him take control and change your life. He knows everything you have ever done, thought, felt, said, and loves you anyway. 

“…I have loved you with an everlasting love…” -Jeremiah 31:3a

Favorite lyrics: “To anyone who trusts in Jesus’ name/ Watch your world become forever changed/ Here’s a song about light from darkness/ I believe you’re only getting started/ If you only knew the treasure that you really are/ If you could understand the measure of the Father’s heart/ He loves you”

2. “I Still Believe”

Camp wrote his most famous and arguably most powerful song directly following Melissa’s death. The last thing he wanted to do at that moment was sing praise. God told him to pick up his guitar and he obeyed, writing a lament of his brokenness, pouring his sorrow out into his music.

It’s okay to ask why. We may never have all the answers about why life is so unfair even when we “do everything right”. God isn’t cruel. He had a plan for Melissa and Jeremy, even when everything seemed lost. Today, Melissa’s story of courage continues to inspire people across the world, and Camp is determined to keep the legacy of her life alive. Melissa never lost her faith, even in the worst moments of her sickness. All she wanted was for others to know about Jesus.

Jeremy has a story to reach and relate to others who are hurting. When all seems lost, sometimes all we can do is cry out to God, even if all we can do is ask, “Why?” He has a plan. 

Favorite lyrics: “‘Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness/ ‘Cause I still believe in Your truth/ ‘Cause I still believe in Your holy word/ Even when I don’t see, I still believe”

1. “Walk by Faith”

This is my number one Jeremy Camp song. After reading all the lyrics, it may seem a bit contradictory that he wrote the lyrics and music while on his honeymoon and knew that Melissa was sick again. He wrote this song more for Melissa than himself, but they became words that he held onto as he walked with his wife during the last few months of her life on earth. 

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for; it makes us certain of things we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1

We don’t have faith in things we can see, touch, hear, smell. That’s not what Christianity is about. Our faith is based on God’s Word, that God is faithful in what He says, and with faith, we see great things. Sometimes all we have is faith. Camp’s issue wasn’t losing faith–he knew that God could work a miracle. His problem was having faith even if God didn’t work a miracle.

Can we still praise God even when we don’t understand? If our will is not God’s will, can we keep putting our faith in Him? We will never understand everything He does, and that’s okay.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah 55:8-9

Even in the midst of the worst grief, Camp was putting his faith in God. Even if He didn’t heal Melissa, he knew that God had a plan. Melissa knew this, as well, and told Jeremy before she died that if even one person came to Christ because of her story, it would be worth it.

Because of Camp’s fame, not just one person knew Jesus. Thousands have heard her story, and many did accept salvation, including the nurse in Melissa’s hospital room during the final days of her life on earth. By faith, Jeremy Camp walked with his wife into the valley of the shadow of death, and by faith he kept clinging to Jesus. By faith, he worked through his pain to share his songs and story with the world.

By faith, we accept Jesus into our lives. We all experience pain in our lives, and by keeping our eyes on Jesus, we won’t walk through these trials alone.

Favorite lyrics: “Well, I will walk by faith/ Even when I cannot see/ Well, because this broken road/ Prepares Your will for me/ Well, I’m broken / But I still see Your face”

Jeremy Camp has definitely lived out many storms in his life. This rough reality is present in his music, but through the pain, there is one constant: Jesus is in control and He is our lifeline.

We cannot understand everything God does, and it is not our place to read God’s mind. All we know is that all things work for good if we love and serve God (Romans 8:28). Despite everything, I love Jeremy Camp’s music and his story. In comparison, my life struggles pale in the light of so many others, but hearing someone else’s strong faith is inspiring.

I highly encourage you to check his music library, or at least listen to the songs listed here. If you feel adventurous, maybe read the “I Still Believe” biography or watch the movie. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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