Hours before his first album release in five years, Justin Bieber praised Jesus for his faithfulness.
The 25-year-old posted hourly Instagram updates in the build-up to the 17-track “Changes” being sent out into the world. One picture in particular, however, stood out from the barrage of promo material: an illustration that simply read “Thank you Jesus.”
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“Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness!” he wrote. “Thank you Jesus that when I was lost you found me, thank you that you brought be from death to life! Thank you that once I was blind but now I see! Thank you for giving your life up on the cross so that I could have ETERNAL LIFE! TRUE LIFE on earth and life ABUNDANTLY!”
Bieber concluded: “Thank you for the promises you have for me! Thank you that I am protected from the hidden traps of my enemy!! I am honored to serve you all the days of my life!”
Many of the songs on the album are filled with references to Bieber’s Christian faith. The title track “Changes” comes to an abrupt end with the simple spoken word: “People change, circumstances change, but God always stays the same.”
Bieber has talked openly about how his faith helped him overcome serious drug addiction.
“I decided to stop [drugs] because I felt like I was dying, my security were coming into the room at night to check my pulse. People don’t know how serious it got; it was legit crazy scary,” he said in a recent episode of YouTube documentary series, “Seasons.”
“I was waking up in the morning and the first thing I was doing was popping pills and smoking a blunt and starting my day,” he added.
Then, desperate and alone, he turned to God for help. “I basically said to myself, ‘God, if you’re real, you get me through this season of stopping these pills and stuff and if you do, I’ll do the rest of the work,’” he said. “I’ve abused my body in the past and now I’m just in the recovery process trying to make sure I’m taking care of my body and taking care of the vessel that God’s given me… there’s so many people that have gifts, and an opportunity to make a change, and they end up either losing it or using their gifts for selfish reasons.”
Bieber has also used Instagram as an outlet for praising God.
“Take joy in all of the wonder and beauty’s god has done in your life! God will give you the desires of YOUR HEART,” he wrote in a post last month, paraphrasing Psalm 37:4.
In another faith-filled post, Bieber thanked the Lord for “leading the way.”
“Thank you for showing me compassion, giving me the grace to grow and loving me through everything!!” he wrote. “No matter what happens in life I know you are always good and your love for me never changes no matter what I do!! You loved me before I did anything to earn or deserve it and for that I say THANK YOU JESUS!”
Last year, Bieber even tried his hand at leading worship, taking the stage at Pastor Judah Smith’s LA-based “Churchome.”
“Sang at church last night. God is pulling me through a hard season,” Bieber posted to Instagram following the appearance. “Having trust in Jesus at your worst times is the absolute hardest. But he is faithful to complete what he started.”
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Most of the songs on “Changes” are written about Bieber’s new wife, Hailey, with lyrics like: “it’s a blessing that you’re in my life,” “you make sure I’m comfortable,” and “what are our kids going to be like?” Indeed, it is no coincidence that the record was released on Valentine’s Day.
“The thought of being with my wife forever gives me chills,” Bieber told a group of assembled music journalists at an album listening party in London last night. “This album is obviously dedicated to her and my love towards her.”
— Hailey Bieber (@haileybieber) February 14, 2020
Earlier this month, Hailey took told Elle that the faith she shares with her husband is what keeps them strong as a couple.
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“Being able to share that with each other—to have that bond of faith and spirituality—is so [critical] for us,” the model explained. “It’s the most important part of our relationship, following Jesus together, being a part of the church community together. It’s everything.”