I STILL BELIEVE (the movie)

Today I want to tell you about a movie I watched recently, not so much the movie but the story it told, because it touched a sensitive topic that I find myself struggling with every now and then. The movie, I still believe, is based on the true-life story of Christian music singer Jeremy Camp, and it stars KJ Apa (as Jeremy) and Britt Robertson (as Melissa) as lead characters.

Young Jeremy goes to college and falls in love with beautiful Melissa, his was love at first sight. They eventually become a couple but then Melissa is diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. Being so in love and convinced that theirs is a story written in heaven, Jeremy commits to Melissa and decides to marry her against the sound advice of his parents. As his fiancee’s condition worsens, Jeremy shares her story with the public on various platforms and asks for the prayer supports of believers all the while believing strongly that she’ll be healed. Few weeks later they visit the doctor for updates on her chemotherapy only to be told that the cancer has spread to her ovaries and she needs to have them removed as soon as possible. The day of surgery arrives, Melissa gets prepped and sent to the OR only for the doctor to rush in and tell them that the cancer has disappeared and that she’s completely healed. Wow!!

The miracle of Melissa’s recovery boosts up the faith of the young couple and they go ahead to share this with as many people as possible- even I was filled with renewed hope at this point. Six months later, they get married and set off to begin their happily ever after. Unfortunately for them, the cancer reappears and it’s much more aggressive than before. Melissa only has a few weeks to live.

At this point in the movie I’m already like God why? What kind of game are you playing with this girl’s life? With these people’s faith? Melissa’s health worsens pretty quickly and she reaches a point where she’s kind of ready for her death. Jeremy on the other hand really believes she’ll be healed again. I mean I can imagine the prayer points “God you healed her once, I believe you’ll heal her again” or something like that. Melissa is hospitalized and Jeremy stays by her side through it hoping, praying, believing that she’ll get better. One night as they’re asleep in the hospital, Melisa suddenly wakes up declaring that she’s healed… “it’s gone” she says, “I feel no more pain”. Jeremy rushed to get the doctor and while speaking to him they heard a large cry from Melissa’s room … she’d finally passed on. Really?! She was gone? Dead? Jeremy prayed with all his heart and yet still she died.

The movie doesn’t end there and I’ll tell you how it ends but before then I’d like to talk about the story so far and the thoughts it provoked in me. This is a very familiar story, maybe not the same way it happens but still I’m sure we have at least one or two occasions where we prayed for something we really needed and it didn’t happen. In the movie we see that Melissa became healed at first and we see how this lifted up the spirits of her loved ones and how they went about telling her story to encourage others to keep praying and believing in God for their miracle. Unfortunately we see again the return of her cancer and how this time around in spite of the many prayers said, she still died. Now these two events had different impacts on Jeremy and his faith and same can be said for most of us. This movie got me really thinking about something I guess I haven’t really paid much heed to: prayer and how it affects my relationship with God (especially when God says no).

So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours…

Mark 11:24

And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us…

1John 5:4

My question then is, where does my faith end and the will of God begin? What happens when God says no? There are times when my faith is enough to carry me forward, but most times I just find myself stuck, lost and unable to carry on because I lost the motivation to keep praying.

I believe in God with all my being, I know He loves me and I believe in His intentions for me. I want you to know these things before you attempt to answer my question or even judge my Christianity. This isn’t a post to complain, this is just me sharing my inner struggles with you, in hopes that you would probably be able to open my faith up to better withstand future trials. So that if anyone is going through the same, they wouldn’t feel alone and for those who’ve overcome something similar to share how they overcame.

After losing his wife, Jeremy found himself in a place where he didn’t know what to do or how to believe… he was hurt and broken and in a serious crisis of faith. He was a musician and most of His songs were about God and his faith but he couldn’t bring himself to write or play anymore. Hands up if you, like Jeremy, have ever been upset with God or even struggled to move on because your prayer wasn’t answered… both my hands are up.

I’ve seen many articles and sermons on how to pray effectively and how to get your prayers answered;

1) Pray in the name of Jesus

2) Pray with faith and do not doubt,

3) Some battles can only be won through fasting so fast,

4) Be persistent,

5) If you’re not praying in tongues then you’re not serious about your request,

6) Sometimes you need to show God how serious you are by praying the “if prayer” i.e sowing a seed,

7) You probably have a sin to repent of etc etc…

While the above listed may be true in some cases, I can’t help but wonder… Isn’t it possible that sometimes God’s will isn’t what we are praying for? Maybe we should have more sermons on how to keep going when God says no. I remember there was a point in my life where I was praying for something that was really important and urgent but each day the situation only got worse. I remember nights where I’ll be wondering if it’s because I’m not praying well, wondering if I wasn’t using the right words… I was frustrated.

Sometimes it feels like God is not attaching any urgency to an ‘obviously’ urgent and time sensitive prayer. For example, when my shipment delayed and clients were giving me sleepless nights, or when we prayed for a friend’s fees to be paid so he could graduate but the money never came and in the end he had to wait until almost 2 years later before he could clear his fees and get his certificates or how we prayed for my grandmum’s health but she still passed away in the end. During such times I wonder, if God will do what He wants, in His own time, why then should I pray? Why even pray more than once?

Could it be that prayer isn’t necessarily about telling God what I want Him to do for me? Could it be that it’s not all about order, receive, thank you? Could I have gotten it all wrong? Am I just an entitled Christian in this case? I realized that my coping mechanism in such times is to not make personal requests when I pray so as to avoid disappointments that may shake my faith. This behavior only made me less keen to pray and so I spent less time praying and not only did this make me spiritually weak but also affected my relationship with God.

I realize that writing these things may seem as though I’ve lost my faith or something like that, far from it. I hope you see this post for what it is, an opportunity to help me and others like me who encounter such struggles every now and then on how best we can escape this crippling cycle.

I think I’ve asked enough questions and so for now I’ll end here and await your replies. My next post will be a conclusion post and will contain what I’ve learnt so far on this topic and the replies you give.

I’ll leave you with a song that pretty much sums up today’s post … Even if by Mercy Me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y

Eagerly looking forward to your replies. Don’t be a stranger.



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32 thoughts on “I STILL BELIEVE (THE MOVIE)..

  1. Your post made me remember “Young Sheldon”. There was one episode surprisingly touching and worth to quote: “…if gravity were slightly less powerful, the universe would fly apart and there would be no stars or planets… Gravity is precisely as strong as it needs to be. And if the ratio of the electromagnetic force to the strong force wasn’t one percent, life wouldn’t exist. What are the odds that would happen all by itself?…the precision of the universe at least makes it logical to conclude there’s a creator…”
    Faith means believing in something you can’t know for sure is truly real and doubting sometimes is normal I guess.

  2. As humans as we are, sometimes it’s just so hard to understand how Our Creator works. I used creator because I want us to understand that He created us and He knows what’s good for us. Well, “No” to a prayer request is still an answered prayer just that this time it didn’t go as we wanted. God gives us what we need not what we want because usually, what “we want is opposed to what the Spirit want”, let’s leave this for another time. Let’s look at it this way, “No” can mean, You deserve something better or a better place, You don’t have enough resources to handle that let me give you the resources first, You are not mature enough, My child I will delay it because there is danger ahead, What you’re asking for will destroy your relationship with me, etc. Looking back, some of the ‘no’s got me closer to God, some made me stronger and some saved from dangers that were ahead. Let’s practise this, each time we put forth a prayer request, let’s add this line of prayer, “Father, Comfort and make me strong when Your answer is ‘No’ , remind me that Your ways are not my ways neither are Your thoughts and that You love and know best, thank you”. I believe He will strengthen us when the answer is ” no”. It’s not easy, I know but may we never forget how He loves us. Stay safe fam.

  3. Thanks Yarh for your post. All your concerns I would say are valid, and you are not alone. I honestly think we are being too hard on ourselves. GOD HIMSELF doesn’t expect much from us when it comes to our faith; HE created us.(Mathew 17:20). We sometimes give ourselves reasons GOD would say no to us because of sins we may have committed. If our basic faith (that CHRIST died for our sin) is shaken, then we can’t go far on this journey.
    The surest way out of this confusion it to trust in the perfect will of GOD in our lives, even if it will hurt. If we sincerly each took an inventory of our lives and how things have been, we would come to a realization that we wouldn’t be where we are now if OUR FATHER had said yes to our every request…it is all part of the ‘perfect’ future we so desire.
    (Jeremiah 29:11)

  4. Like you, i’ve questioned my faith too many times. However, the better i know myself, the more convinced i’ve become that God knows what i need.There’ll always be the one incident that convinces you that God loves you specially, hold on to it. I believe the closer you get to Him, the more reasons you find to doubt. That is why my most favourite quotation is the “taste and see” verse. Sometimes i’ve gone months without praying, but the most beautiful thing is that He’s always here when i get back, and things always fall in place perfectly, sometimes not in the way i expect. The bigger picture is a better picture after all.

  5. Wow. Worth reading
    Prayer is not an easy topic to talk about. Thanks for suggesting ways to keep pressing on

  6. I was going to jump and say I would check out the movie but your words stopped me lol. It’s real though. The no part and I think we like to always recieve a yes instead of a no. A yes to us is supposed to be a reassurance of Gods love. A yes to us means he really has us at heart. But truthfully, we are to pray for His will and not really for a yes or no. Like Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane- Lord, Let’s this cup pass over me but nevertheless your will and not mine.

    All the No‘s i have received from God made me better because I learnt not to make a request outside of His will. So yes I really desire that thing and Lord if you would let me have it I would be glad but your will should supersede mine.
    This prayer cost me some personal stuff which I wasn’t prepared for at all, to the extent of telling myself I was done with God. But today I can say it’s one of the reasons why I can have faith and no matter the outcome I still stick to Jesus anyway.
    Faith is no longer just believing that you will recieve what you ask for. But it is actually trusting God that no matter what you ask for, his perfect will which seeks the best for you is what will come through.

    I don’t know if this answers you. But at this point in My life, a no means – allow my will and I will give you the strength to pull through.

    1. Thanks for adding up to my faith in Christ. My family has been through a lot for the past years but you know one thing that keeps me going?, I know that God has done it before and He will do it again and again. Thanks for lifting up my soul Naa and Yarh. God bless you guys
      I pray that we never give up on Him like I’ve done soo many times

  7. I believe God can only walk through us if we are also willing to walk in the need He places before us.One thing still stands, God is sovereign and He does whatever pleases Him.It’s great to have faith but above all else, let’s be willing to align our expectations with His impeccable will for our lives.Jesus said, if it will be possible, let this cup pass over me, but Father not my will but let your will be done.In our requests, we must be ready to listen to what God also has to say.He formed us and knows what is best for us.Sometimes the answer is No, my grace is sufficient for you.Other times,the reply is not yet.Sometimes too, the response is instantenous.Isaiah righty said, there is no searching of His understanding.This is not to undermine the power of prayer and faith, since they are vital tools to every believer.Let’s do our part and allow God to take care of the rest.God bless you.

  8. This might be one of your most thought provoking pieces, you know what I love about all this? That, we’re spiritually inclined to keep our faith strong everyday day in and day out, relentless in our commitment to Him as our Father, and lastly to seek The Spirit of God. In my own experience God never forsake me In my lowest moments, He kept knocking till I answered, so yes faith really release the stress. I love this post

  9. God is all knowing, He do whatever He likes in every given time. The story is amazing one and it takes those who believes in God only to understand why Melissa got healed in the first place and in short while got the cancer again. Why did she even die? What I will say is that maybe her faith in the lord wasn’t magnanimous that’s why the cancer reappeared. But in all, what I will say is that, as Christians we must really work on our faith no matter what the circumstances may be in our lives, we should continually trust in God’s grace and mercy, our faith in Him should never die and when it happens like that, I think we will see His glory in everything we do. The quotations you gave out was perfect and we must read them every day to boost our faith in God. We can never be good Christians without trusting much in God’s fervent word. A very sad story. May her soul rest in peace… A heart touching story every one must read.

  10. Wow really insightful post…My take on this post is people or Christians think Prayer is like asking Santa for a Christmas gift… they make a list and ask God to provide it for them without thinking it might not be His Will…John 5:14 says ” This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” So I think you can have genuine faith in what you are asking but if is not His Will you might end up being disappointed.

  11. Some pretty good stories about David(in his process of becoming a king) Abraham(before he came to be called father of nations), the freedom of the Israelites and many more from the old testament inspires me to know that last last it’s always about what God wants. The story is always gonna have a back and forth not because He can’t finish what He started but just to show us that it is always HIS story to write not ours, we are only here as fortunate characters with some little will power to change a scene or two but not how the story ends.
    Our response or reaction to HIS silence determines how strong our Faith works, maybe not for us but for others. so what I do when I get tired of praying or waiting is Praise, because someway somehow it brings something down even if it not what I asked.
    This song ever since it’s release has always got me holding on positively in any adversity

  12. Beautiful and so true, when it’s the answer is NO, it’s hard but we pray that we do not give up on God and faith. Prayer is a tool that God yields to build us up and make us better. The process can include breaking down, hammering, melting, polishing and sometimes adorning us. It can be painful, tough, frustrating and heartbreaking. But looking back at the struggles of the past always tells us the story of hope, victory and redemption through Christ. If we rely on God, we will see that, it was all for our greater good, and if we can’t see it then be sure that, that is still not the end. :~)

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