WHAT TO SEE: Faith can remain, even through nonsensical pain
I Still Believe
K.J. Apa, Britt Robertson, Nathan Dean Parsons, Gary Sinise, Shania Twain, Reuben Jack Dodd
117 min. • Rated: PG
Tragedy can test our faith. The question of why bad things happen to good people has haunted humanity from the start. When misfortune befalls people we perceive as evil, it’s easy to suppose it’s a matter of divine justice. But what about the virtuous and the innocent? Why do they sometimes suffer just as much, and why does God seem deaf to prayers on their behalf?
Jeremy Camp is an accomplished Christian performing artist whose journey to success traveled along the roads of tragedy. I Still Believe tells the story of how he found both stardom and love, but lost the latter. More importantly, it relates how faith brought Jeremy and his wife Melissa together, led them to the altar, and sustained them through pain and grief. Turning to God in prayer as Melissa battled an illness that knew no mercy, Jeremy found a healing unlike what he had hoped for or expected. Emerging from the long dark tunnel, he still believed, and lived to sing the praises of God.
This faith-based film is a tearjerker by design, and succeeds at that even though some of its conflicts seem insufficiently explored — the early rivalry for Melissa’s affections between Jeremy and another Christian singer who helped get him his first demo recording, the relationship between the young lovers and their respective families, and the too-sudden discovery of Melissa’s illness. But the acting is solid, and both Gary Sinise and Shania Twain give the film a bit of star power despite their relatively small roles.
A lesson of I Still Believe is that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45) and loves us through it all. It is not ours to understand this mystery of suffering, but to embrace it — and continue to love, trust, and believe in Him in return.
GERALD KORSON is a Legatus magazine staff writer.