In the middle of trials it can often be hard to see hope. Worship band I AM THEY wrote many songs about hard seasons of life, according to group member Matt Hein. But with their latest album, “Faithful God,” the group collectively looked at those periods of difficulties and penned songs which declare the nature of God and the new life found in Him at all stages of existence, even when the evidence of that life may not be clearly seen.
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“It feels like a new day for us as a band,” Hein told American Songwriter. “We recognize that we’re in a place right now where we feel like we’re hitting on every cylinder and we have a unity and a trust for each other and an excitement. These messages of hope and new life and declaring God’s promises, and leaning into His faithfulness…the world is craving.”
Abbie Parker, vocalist in the band, explained the previous circumstances driving songs were in the realm of pain: addictions, acute mental health struggles and relational strains. But this record looks at the faithfulness of God that was present even in those dark times.
“It’s looking back on what our struggles have been and seeing how God has been there the entire time,” Parker said.
The title track was inspired by a true story of a friend battling cancer. Jane received a final diagnosis that was sudden and devastating. But in faith, she rose up and continued to declare the character of God throughout the entire treatment process, Hein explained. She knew her story was not over because God was for her.
“It was this crazy, resilient declaration of faith and who God was, and who she believed God to be for her,” Hein said. “Romans 4:18 says against all odds when it looked hopeless, Abraham believed the promise and expected God to fulfill it. She put her name in parentheses next to Abraham, saying ‘Jane believed the promise and expected God to fulfill it,’.”
“She was unaccepting of anything happening contrary to that,” Hein continued. “She said ‘I’m gonna stick my claim on who God is. I’m trusting a faithful God, and I’m gonna get through this,’.”
Although “Faithful God,” was written during this trial, Jane is now cancer free, Hein noted.
“We wrote out of the part that was almost even more inspiring because it’s incredible to hear the stories and breakthrough and healing, but I think the most inspiring thing for us as believers is to just see people who are able to stand up and declare those promises over their lives while they’re in the midst of the trial, of the struggle and the battle – which she was.”
Brandon Chase, vocalist and guitar player for the group, noted that hope one expresses in the midst of trials, and after, goes beyond words. This concept heavily influenced the creation of the record.
“When you start understanding and seeing how he was with you in that current moment and as you begin to take steps forward…that positivity and that hope starts just flowing through the lyrics and the sound, in the chords and melodies,” Chase noted. “When we started making this record we wanted it to be hopeful. We wanted it to really outline the faithfulness of God, and with that you’ll hear so many uptempo, feel good songs. I think that’s part of being on the upside of this trial season and being in this place of renewed hope.”
It’s a collective step forward and a process that has been both strengthening and stretching, Parker added. This newfound unity in hope is a great time for God to come in and work in individual hearts, Hein noted.
“I’m excited to see how God will continue to unify us, as a band but also as believers and the church,” Hein said. “There’s a lot of division, there’s a lot of darkness, but I think it’s a perfect set up for God to come in and if we would just seek him, turn to him, sing these songs, come together, and worship, then we’ll see hearts united again.”